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Live action take on anime classic is one shell of a movie. Even setting aside gripes about Hollywood whitewashing, 'Ghost in the Shell' just isn't that interesting. Read More

By Per Gunnar Jonsson March 23, 2018

This is an okay movie but that is about it. The blurb sounded quite interesting and the trailers were promising even though I always take trailers with a huge pinch of salt. I have never read the original Manga. Whether that is good or bad with respect to the movie I do not know.

The good stuff as far as this movie is concerned is, not surprisingly, the visuals. I would not say that they are stunning but the are quite good. The environments are interesting and the special effects are not bad at all. I have to say that the tank design was pretty poor though. Not very exiting as a fictional design and utter nonsense from a functional point of view.

This is as far as the good stuff goes. The story is okay but it is pretty predictable and not that much to get exited about. It could have been more developed for sure. I would actually have liked to see the Major do a few more missions beating up the bad guys. That was where the movie shined a bit and showed the best visuals and special effects.

The acting is pretty mediocre to be honest. Even Daisuke Aramaki, which was a character that I did like, felt rather bland. The main bad guy was just a uninspiring thug.

To me the movie more or less felt like the pilote episode of a TV-show with a huge budget for visuals. It was not WOW god but showed promise and I felt like I would like to see more “episodes”. The fact that it is actually a movie and it seems unlikely that a sequel, even though the ending makes it pretty clear that they hoped there would be one, will be made left me with a unsatisfied feeling.

Bottom line, average movie with enjoyable visuals and special effects but one which do not manage to reach above the “just another sci-fi manga movie” segment for me.

By Reno March 23, 2018

**Too late to come out to impress its fans!**

It was not my most anticipated film of the year. Like usual for any film, I just wanted to see it and enjoy it. The film was fine, but that does not mean so good. From the visuals to the performances, it sounded great. But the story wasn't. When the original concept was created nearly 30 years back, it fascinated people for being something new and powerful. But for the current world, for the current generation, it is just an ordinary sci-fi. All I say is it just came out at least 15 years late. So the 90s kids would have loved it!

The storyline was nothing, but a self-discovery of a half human, half machine. This has been the plot of hundreds of robot films. But it's just differently told. One of only kind, a human brain was saved after the severe accident and given an artificial body. Now she's known as Major fights the crime. But some day later, she's haunted by glitches in her vision which directly connected to her past that she does not remember. The rest of the film was finding the truth and other consequences, before it all ends.

Visual effects were the only advantage for this film to come out in the present era. The rest of the film was simply okayish. I don't know what the original source fans say about it, but it is a one time watchable film. Otherwise, there are plenty of similar good films, like this is nothing much different than 'Robocop'. Or the recent TV series 'Westworld'. Scarlett Johansson could become a reason for some people to peek into it. The writing and direction were average. Watch and forget kind of film.

_5/10_

By tmdb81799156 July 30, 2017

I was unable to make it to the theaters for this one due to traveling for work those first two weeks. And then it was gone; couldn't find it in any theaters. I'm sure glad I didn't waste my money for that and only spent $1.62 to rent it from RedBox.
The trailer didn't show much, which is good. I hate trailers that give away everything about a movie.
So, a hot girl is always good...
And it had the teaser nudity that isn't real but is a suit - I'll let you be the judge of that.
The rest is the same old overused nonsense from all other science fiction movies:
A lot of fighting, shooting, explosions and destruction - way too much of that... but just about all sci-fi and superhero movies these days only contain that.
The first hour was incredibly boring. After about 70 minutes, it got just slightly interesting and then all the fighting/shooting/destruction began. There is nothing interesting about that - we've all see that hundreds of times. It's ridiculous.
Why can't any of these shooters hit anything? We still have that. It isn't interesting to watch. Thousands of rounds flying and everyone missing their target. With all this high tech stuff, why don't they have more advanced weapons?
I have to say, I was in Arizona earlier this year and fired a handgun for the very first time. It was a 6-shooter, a Colt "Peacemaker", you know the pistol of the "West". You don't "AIM" those, you lift them to just above waist high, look at your target & not the gun, and pull the trigger. After just a few shots, it starts to become very natural. Any sane person can hit a target the size of a person at least somewhere on their body, even if they are moving. 24 rounds: I had 24 hits & 0 misses at various distances. But the people in these movies can't hit anything even when they do aim and with much better weapons.
And then you have Major, her manufactured body can stretch & tear, wires breaking, and it can still function? Uh, NO, it wouldn't. That's not how mechanics and electronics work.
The City: a ridiculous "Blade Runner"/"Fifth Element" type of city but with fish floating around. No, not interesting at all. Just very silly.
Oh, one petty but very annoying thing: They can build an entire body and install a human brain in it and get everything to work but they can only give her a ragged, jagged wig or haircut? That's very weird. Her crooked bangs were a distraction in every scene that included her facing the viewer.

In Summary: This movie has a lot of awesome CGI with a ridiculous plot and horrible acting. Great CGI alone doesn't make a great, or even a good, movie. This catastrophe is a perfect example of that.

By Pierre_D May 19, 2017

I boned up on this movie by watching the 1995 version and Stand Alone Complex for a bit, loved the repartée from Major Kusanagi and her crew and hoped it would translate to the big screen. The movie succeeds in displaying the setting and overall feel of the area. Everything is a grainy, low-tech with abundant neon and cyber-solidified humans. Sadly, the script is a bit of a mess. Kusanagi becomes Major Mira Killian (you'll see why toward the end the film) and Scarlett Johhansson, generally a quite credible actress, is sort of wasted here.

We do not get a lot of character development for her or her crewmates. There aren't a lot of quirky, funny moments as there are in the animated versions. Worse still, a lot of the teaser from the movie are just absent here, and one feels cheated. Overall this is a fine bit of popcorn absorption but fails to live up the series's standards and fails to give any of the actors much to work with. See it on a rainy day, if nothing else.

3.5/5

By Gimly May 16, 2017

I know I wasn't supposed to love it but I accidentally did.

_Final rating:★★★½ - I strongly recommend you make the time._

By Wanderless April 19, 2017

I've watched Ghost in the Shell at the cinema 3 days ago, knowing
beforehand about the controversies that have surrounded this movie for
the last 6 months or so. Science fiction movies are probably my
favorite genre and I also enjoyed most of Scarlett's movies for the
past 8-9 years so those two factors were a plus for me going in.

Regarding the whitewashing business, I think its been blown way, WAY
out of proportion by social justice warriors with nothing better to do
than drag media attention over whatever they're feeling insecure about
this month/year. For those of you who might be on the fence about
watching a Caucasian actress in the role that (supposedly) should've
been reserved to an Asian actress, please consider this a NON-MATTER
and watch it anyway. The character she is portraying is SUPPOSED to
look Caucasian/white. It was the same in the source material and even
the creator of that anime said so in interviews.

Now, is the movie any good? In my opinion, yes. Yes it was. It wasn't
amazing but at the very least entertaining. There is a good amount of
people who score this a 1/10 because they are butt hurt that the story
was changed a lot. Please ignore them and see for yourself even if
you're a fan of the anime and are able to keep an open mind. I think
maybe I was able to judge it more objectively because I had zero
knowledge about the story in the anime going in, but, if nothing else,
the movie actually made me want to watch those old ones to compare.

The acting - 7.5/10 - Since Scarlett Johansson is the only big name
that the movie is being marketed alongside, I'd say she did a good job.
At no point in the movie could I say she didn't belong there. She
played the part of cyborg who had difficulty belonging in a human world
very well. The cast is diverse enough in my opinion, though some of
them get pretty little screen time.

The visuals - 9/10 - If there is one point most critics/viewers are in
alignment concerning this movie, that point is definitely the visuals.
The movie both looks and feels spectacular, with the futuristic city
looking like a close-future mix of Blade Runner and TRON. The
combination of CGI and practical effects looks organic, the movie's
powerful themes of excessive self-augmentation and technology almost
running amok represented very well visually.

Soundtrack - 8/10 - Sometimes pretty subdued, sometimes
almost-but-not-quite in your face, I found the soundtrack to vary
between decent and very good in some moments. It didn't MAKE the movie
but it enhanced a good deal in my opinion.

Story - 7/10 - Here is where the good points of the movie kinda start
to run dry. A lot of other people would probably rate it a lot lower,
with 5 or 4's if they're at least trying to be objective. Yes, the
story is fairly predictable, and the fact that the movie is only around
100 minutes long doesn't do it any favors either. Here is probably
where most of the legitimate hate towards this movie stems from. The
creators adapted a story that had a lot more depth and philosophical
insight and turned it into a somewhat generic cyborg coming of age
story mixed with an evil corporation doing questionable things. The
villain is also very cookie-cutter and has almost zero depth. HOWEVER,
I do think that concerning this film's particular themes and narrative,
a weak villain doesn't hurt it so much since its more about
losing/gaining your humanity through technology than any bad guy trying
to shoot you.

Writing/Dialogue - 6/10 - By far the movie's weakest aspect. In fact, I
believe if some more meaningful dialogue and character interactions
were written into this film, it could've easily been 1 or 2 points
higher on anyone's scoring system. As it is, the dialogue is shallow
and fairly run-of-the-mill for about half the movie's length. Some bits
of good interactions are sprinkled here and there, and thankfully
that's enough to preserve the soul of the movie's central theme of
human souls surviving in machine bodies, BUT not enough to give Ghost
in the Shell the depth it should've inherited from the source material.

Overall - I gave this movie 3.5/5 stars here, mostly because I
couldn't give it a 7.5/10 which felt more appropriate to me. My advice
would be to not listen to the whitewashing nonsense, because that's
exactly what it is, nonsense. Also don't listen to the haters who rate
this movie a 1/10 or call it shit because those people should not be
reviewing anything to begin with. It is a decent movie, with great
visuals and a theme that might get you thinking for a couple of days
after seeing it. The acting is decent, with an above average
performance from Scarlett and a good soundtrack that might hit the
right spot on occasion. The only bad aspects, like I mentioned, are the
film's rather short running time and weak dialogue/writing which hold
it back from being truly great.

By Salt-and-Limes April 4, 2017

I am writing this review as someone who hasn't seen the original anime. I have also been very critical of the whitewashing of this film. With that I aside, I went to see it with willingness to give it the benefit of the doubt. "Ghost in the Shell" is well...a beautiful shell.

The visuals were absolutely breath taking. The action scenes flowed so beautifully with special effects. But that's all the movie had to offer. Take away the spectacles and you have a basic run-of-the-mill action movie.

The acting was fine. But honestly, the leads didn't have anything to actually sink their teeth into. Scarjo, and everyone else, was serviceable.

If you're looking for some mindless, yet stunning entertainment, then go see it.

By Richard von Busack April 10, 2017

In the horrifying, dystopic future year of 2017, Scarlett Johansson has her face sawed off-"scanned" is the parlance. Her kissable visage is used as a model for a digital avatar, roaming around Neo-Sorta-Kinda-Tokyo killing her fellow avatars with a blaster.

She's a federal cop called Major (Johannsen)-with human brain in a synthetic body-on the trail of terrorists assassinating execs from the robot-making Hanka corporation. The investigation involves some cyber eavesdropping, rousting yakuza nightclubs, and penetrating a "lawless zone" where the rebels live, scrawling their Unabomber-like manifestos.

Studying the live-action version of the distinguished 1995 anime film Ghost in the Shell, one broods over psychological questions. How much humanity can Johannsen have after all the movies where she's been animated into a cartwheeling, hair-whirling, ass-kicking electronic phantom? Does ScarJo have any "glitches"-any unsanctioned memories-of her time sashaying around Tokyo in Lost in Translation?

She's gone full android. Never go full android. Hushed and expressionless, she goes on missions in a Barbie-doll body sans nips and pudenda, as shiny as a factory-new Kia. (To break up that cream-cheese colored plastic glow, little blue blazes of lightning crackle over her frame, indicating a cloaking device).

ScarJo is supposed to be Japanese-oid: not Japanese but not not-Japanese. Occidents will happen, even in movies with a lot of Shanghai money in them. One gets some comfort in seeing that the way you turn a European actor Japanese is exactly the way it was done 50 years ago in You Only Live Twice, when Sean Connery was brilliantly disguised as an Asian to outwit SPECTRE. Operating room, check; tapered eyebrows, check; and a shaggy haircut, in this case a kind of black horsehair version of a 1950s pixie cut.

Major is given support by the maternal scientist Dr. Ouelet (Juliette Binoche) as well as from a control, the paternal if ever-sinister Beat Takeshi-here with his own funny haircut, a cross between Larry Fine and Dick Tracy villain Flattop.

Since physical augmentation is the next killer ap, colossal holograms haunt the skyscrapers (as do lazy, sky-swimming koi). The oddest advertisement of them all is a pair of disembodied 70-foot-tall artificial legs running laps in place in the air.

This looks like a fun city-Pepperland: Year 2500. There is a moment of a cop proudly showing off the scar where he got his new cyber-liver ("Now it's closing time every night!"). Otherwise, Ghost in the Shell does without humor, except in one moment. Major's partner Batou, played by Danish dreamboat Pilou Asbaek, shoots a thug and the man keels forward dead, face-planting into a jumbo bowl of ramen. That was as funny as it got. Director Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) sets a tone of dead seriousness, as if a group of fanbois gripped him by the portal holes in the back of his neck.

As for the speculation of what cybernetic bits would change a person out of homo sapiens into some other category... you'd have to digest at least three years' worth of Wired magazine to equal such thumb-suckage. The other question considered here is duty versus escape, the answer being, of course, "choose duty."

ScarJo breaks a lot of real and synthetic bones, but the movie doesn't break any new ground. Ghost in the Shell wouldn't exist without the original RoboCop-it's a haunted, abject copy of the Verhoeven movie. The easy compare and contrast, given the holographic chimeras all over the place, is with Blade Runner. Alex Garland's Ex Machina, now on Amazon Prime, took the most interesting parts of Blade Runner-the Turing-testing sequence-and wreaked them into a full length movie.

Nothing here is as good as Alicia Vikander showing up in a frumpy sweater and droopy stockings, a wistful machine trying to dress up like a human being. Since there was no equivalent in Ex Machina to Harrison Ford running around shooting androids, Ex Machina wasn't the same kind of hit Blade Runner was. Ghost in the Shell isn't interesting but there is a lot of blasting-that may send it over.