Ghost in the Shell (2017)

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Title: Ghost in the Shell

Director: Rupert Sanders

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Rating: PG-13

Leads: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano

I know there was a lot of build up for this movie for some people because there have been Manga books and animated films already made. There are also video games, multiple. People who have followed this in any way had high hopes for this movie becoming a reality. Many others just got pulled in by the presence or Major (Scarlett Johansson), and action in the movies trailer. Either way there was some decent hype about the movie.

This movie is based in Japan, as it should be, and sometime in the future. I am not, really, a fan of films in other countries that have main actors and actresses that are white. It just seems weird to me, but I can understand why they do it. Just a personal gripe. At one point in the movie you get confused because Major is a white woman and you have to realize that her brain or ‘Ghost’ is Asian. You’ll see what I mean if you watch the movie.

On to the summary! The movie was 107 minutes long which is in the good range. Again, anything pushing over two hours either has to, damn near be the best movie ever to keep people’s attention. The movie opens with some written dialogue that sets the scene pretty well. It speaks of “…the line between human and machine is disappearing…” and “…allow humans to enhance themselves with cybernetic parts.” The story itself evolves throughout the movie. It starts with Major being saved and working alongside her partner Batou (Pilou Asbæk). Major is a total badass and is portrayed as such. Her movements instantly reminded me of “The Matrix”, and I kind of liked that.

The movie was slower than I had anticipated, and that held true throughout, with only minor exceptions. It also seemed to not really divulge any information in the first half of the movie. It seemed like a slow build up with some great cinematic shots like these:

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It left me wondering what was coming next. I didn’t really have any questions so I wasn’t sure where it would/could go. The direction of the movie seemed to be going one way and after the start of the second half of the movie it changed. You start to see more of the antagonist Kuze (Michael Pitt) and wonder what and who he is. You develop questions at this point about motives for things and motives for others. It took half a movie to get to the REAL point. It was done in a decent way, and maybe that is how it went in the series of shows, books, and games, but I wouldn’t know. I didn’t follow the series before this. Looking at it as a standalone movie is all I can do.

Throughout the movie you can tell it isn’t so much about the whole plot as much, rather it is about Major finding truth. Not just truth in identity, but also truth in life. A major (no pun intended) part of the film is figuring out where that line is drawn. What makes a human, human? At what point, would one not be considered human? Is there a soul? Do you have to be born? These and more pop into your head as the movie progresses.

Towards the end of the movie everything starts to come together quickly. You find the answers to some of the questions you have/had. There also starts to be a little bit more action. A few good fight scenes, and a great build up to a pinnacle. As well as a strong musical presence. The movie ends somewhat softly, leaving you with an open door. You can see that this story line ends, but there could be more to come.

The actors and actresses did a great job. Scarlett Johansson and Pilou Asbæk have great chemistry in the movie. This could in part from their work together in “Lucy” in 2014. There are other lead roles I didn’t even mention because their parts were secondary to Scarlett’s role. Anyone could have done it, and the movie would have had the same impact.  That was another aspect I didn’t think I would see. I thought there would be much more emphasis on the other characters than there was.

Making these types of reviews that summarize, and try not to give anything away is hard. Just keep that in mind haha. Over all I did enjoy this futuristic movie. The gadgets and cinematography are cool concepts. I love see what people think the future will look like. The idea of the movie is great for people who like more sci-fi type movies, even though it isn’t listed as one. There is moderate action, a decent amount of drama, and all of it is a crime in progress. It did fall short in some aspects and that did effect my rating.

That all being said I would recommend you watch this movie, if any of the stuff I wrote about interests you!

I personally give this movie a 6.5/10

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