Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Ghost in the Shell - Review

I caught up with the recent release of the latest Scarlet Johannson fight fest movie, 'Ghost in the Shell' last week.

Based on the 1995 cult manga/anime title of the same name, GitS is a fitting release to go with the current plethora of cyberpunkesque films covering this genre at the moment.

The film plot does stay largely true to the manga title but with the usual clipping to make the story line fit movie (under two hour) timescale.

With Scarlet Johannson in the lead role as 'Major' a person saved from a terrible life threatening accident and her brain transplanted into a state of the art, one of a kind android body producing a less than organic cyborg who is trained as a assassin cum trouble shooter cum walking weapon. 

The main plot line starts off and follows Major and the rest of the 'anti-terrorist' team in tracking down the shadowy figure 'Kruze' and while doing so, she starts to have glitches and begins to question her identity.

The whole movie had me half thinking in terms of Blade Runner, and there are definitely obvious parallels that can be drawn between the movies with a few particular night time shots which were difficult to separate. I believe the movie has been 20 yrs in getting to the big screen and it would be likely had in been screened sooner than now, it would have been labelled as a spin off from the classic.

I found the film quite engaging and some of the supporting cast are particularly eye catching and characterful. Scarlet herself I though managed to pull off the role with reasonable effect and though reasonably pretty-fied to suit a Hollywood/mainstream release did move around in a fairly androgynous mode and avoided being a Black Widow clone fairly successfully with a hunched up plodding gait adoption which seperates her performance from the likes of 'Lucy' or 'Under the Skin' but Scarlet does look to be the go-to gal for this type of flick at the moment, probably due to likely box office pull.

There is not a lot else I can say around the storyline without major (no pun intended) spoilers if you don't already know the story, but many of the iconic images from the 1995 original have been retained within the movie including the lagoon fight with an invisible Major and the 'big boss fight out with the spider tank (which I thought really didn't fit well with the feel of the rest of the movie, but it was in the original so there nyah) and much robotic angst ridden self doubt through out.

I have no doubt that purist fans will have derided the movie, pretty much as always happens with this type of re-make/real life visualisation)  and in fairness, a lot of the moralisation and conceptual rationalisation is missing from the movie. I suspect this is deliberate to make the film more main stream acceptable. (Lots of ...tion's there).

One point to pick up on this release though is the likelihood of more Cyberpunk titles to come, not least the up coming Blade Runner 2049 which I believe is scheduled for October this year, so GitS at least paves the way.

A pretty good cyberpunk movie in all and enough eye candy to make it worth the trip to the cinema. 'Ghost in the Shell' gets an acceptable 7 out of 10 from the Warblog, go and see it if you have a couple of hours to spare.


  1. I'm really fussy when it comes to Anime and Manga, but I do love Masamune Shirow's works, Gits and Appleseed are just fantastic so I was sceptical about this one. That said, I liked the film, Scarlet Johansson was passable for reasons you mentioned further up and I think it provided enough of a mix of the original Anime and material from some of the others to flesh out the story in a good way. However I do have to say that the star of the film by a long shot was Takeshi Kitano which if you're familiar with his film work you'll understand just how good that was.

    1. Takeshi Kitano as Chief Aramaki was very good, as indeed were several others in the supporting cast. I think Appleseed is Shirow's best by far.

  2. I must admit, I'm looking forward to this one.


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