Time: 107 Minutes
Age Rating: Science fiction themes, violence & content that may disturb.
Scarlett Johansson as Major Mira Killian
“Beat” Takeshi Kitano as Chief Daisuke Aramaki
Michael Carmen Pitt as Kuze
Pilou Asbæk as Batou
Chin Han as Togusa
Juliette Binoche as Dr. Ouelet
Peter Ferdinando as Cutter
Director: Rupert Sanders
In the near future, Major (Scarlett Johansson) is the first of her kind: a human who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people’s minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that her life was stolen instead of saved. Now, she will stop at nothing to recover her past while punishing those who did this to her.
Ghost in the Shell was a movie I was interested in. Although I haven’t seen the original anime, I like Scarlett Johansson, I like Michael Pitt, and the movie had a lot of potential with its concept and the source material. The trailer also promised a visually stunning movie. With that said I didn’t know what to expect going in, especially with the very mixed response to the movie. Having finally seen Ghost in the Shell, I can say that I was actually surprised, this movie was better than I thought it would be. The performances, the fantastic direction and the story all worked well to result in a solid sci fi movie.
As I previously mentioned, I have not seen the original anime so I can’t comment on how accurate this adaptation is. This movie is fairly conventional but it does have some neat surprises. I have heard that this adaptation has dumbed down a lot of the elements from the anime, this movie was fairly straightforward, so I have a feeling that’s the case. As someone who haven’t seen the anime, I did enjoy the story quite a bit. It wasn’t spectacular or groundbreaking to me but I had a lot of fun with it, I was never bored and it kept me interested throughout.
Scarlett Johansson is quite good in her role, she really sells her character not being completely human, her character also struggles with her identity, and Johansson portrayed that aspect well. She also was great in her action sequences. Pilou Asbaek is really enjoyable and likable in his role and a stand out performance is Michael Pitt, who plays a bit of a unique character, definitely one of the highlights of the movie (I just wished we got more of him). Other supporting actors such as Takeshi Kitano and Juliette Binoche do quite well in their roles. The weakest link is Peter Ferdinando in his role, I can’t tell whether it was his performance or the character, but whatever case, he felt rather weak and cliché as a character.
One of the best parts of Ghost in the Shell is its direction by Rupert Sanders, it is visually beautiful and stunning to watch. I loved the look that the world of Ghost in the Shell takes place in, with all the neon and vibrant visuals. The cinematography is immaculate and done so well. The action scenes were also quite entertaining to watch, the slow mo is implemented quite well. Cliff Martinez’s score as usual is also excellent and really does add to the movie a lot. The direction overall is really great, and one of the highlights of the film.
I wouldn’t say that Ghost in the Shell is a great movie, but it is good, much better than I was expecting. The performances were pretty good, the story held my interest and the direction was great. I can’t comment on how different this adaptation is to the anime, but for those who haven’t, I recommend at least giving this movie a shot. The visuals and the overall direction are at the very least good enough reason to give it a chance.