'Ghost in the Shell' replicates a sci-fi classic

You already knew that, though.

Will you enjoy the new version of Ghost in the Shell? It's impossible to discuss the movie's troubled treatment of identity politics without spoiling some big reveals, but before we get into those, there are plenty of other things that make the live-action remake a disappointment. Yes, numerous shots were clearly inspired by the Japanese film, but director Rupert Sanders and his team have translated those animated visuals into a lovingly detailed mix of live action and CGI.

"Our cast is incredibly diverse", she told Bustle, "and it was really important for [director] Rupert [Sanders] to have this film, this universe, feel very global and. have all these cultures kind of mixing".

Also a part of Major's life is Dr. Ouelet, the brilliant scientist who made the super-soldier the first human to come through the process that installs a human brain into a cybernetic body.

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt.

Director Rupert Sanders mixes action-filled scenes and moments where Major can ponder her existence.

Though the film doesn't seem to be liked by fans of the anime original, it stands well on its own as a film focused on a cybernetically enhanced hero who comes through a firestorm to understand who she truly is.

You can tell from the numerous trailers, TV spots and videos out there that the movie is visually stunning. I had a college roommate who watched the cartoon. That leaves less room for the philosophical musings of the original, and places greater emphasis on plot twists that aren't particularly shocking, many courtesy of cybernetic villain Kuze (Michael Pitt).

From it's opening titles through to the final scene, the film is reminiscent of Westworld, Chris Cunningham's music videos and is nearly simply an updated version of lots of movies you've already seen - Bladerunner, Total Recall, Fifth Element, The Matrix etc both in plot, character development and mood. (If so, fair enough.) If it's mostly to make her invisible, why isn't she wearing a hood, too? "Her age and background are unknown, just as much as her nationality". Here those ideas are presented with painfully on-the-nose, poorly written dialogue. With her face nearly expressionless, she delivers her lines in a monotone.

Or maybe the backers just wanted Scarlett Johansson in the lead because she's the most bankable female star in the world - the only woman in the worldwide Top 10 in recent rankings. Most films that win best picture, actor, etc., are a drag for me.

Ghost In The Shell is in Kiwi Cinemas now.

It's one of the most consistent critiques of Hollywood - studios placing white actors in roles when the source material is based on characters of color. That's right: before she lived in the body of a white woman, Major was actually Japanese.

My favorite performances by Johansson are in smaller, quirkier films such as "Lost as Translation" and "Match Point" and "Under the Skin", but she has become a huge action star thanks to the "Avengers" movies and "Lucy", and she's in full badass mode here.

  • Salvatore Jensen