Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Film Review: Ghost In The Shell 2.0 (2008)

Ghost In The Shell 2.0 (Review)
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

In the future, in a world seamlessly interconnected by technology, Major Motoko Kusanagi, a female police officer and leader of Section 9, along with her team, hunts down a mysterious and elusive hacker, the Puppet Master. What she finds is a complex world of life and conspiracy.

Ghost in the Shell 2.0 has a fantastic story. Using its immersive SciFi environment, we are sucked into a computerized world where reality and fantasy seamlessly blend to provoke thought. We follow Kusanagi and her crew as she hunts the Puppet Master - a mysterious character up to the end, where the meaningful motives and truth behind a web of lies are revealed. Along the way, we are introduced to many different characters - not deeply, but briefly - and the different technology available; and, we often get to see it all in action. The film has a few twists - they're not mind-blowing, but they work very well for the film and aren't far-fetched. The ending is great - again, you can see it coming, though.

GitS 2.0 uses magnificent action sequences to move the story along. The shootouts are incredibly captured, and the use of futuristic technology, such as camouflage, add variety. Much of the action reminded me of the Metal Gear Solid video game series, though clearly GitS 2.0 released first; regardless, the action is fascinating and uses the SciFi elements perfectly. There are a few scenes that some may consider useless, like the long shots of the different areas that are visited; I felt like these scenes, accompanied with fantastic music, added some atmosphere and ambiguity, like Blade Runner, and left room for contemplation.

The voice acting from the Japanese cast is great - capturing every emotion needed simply with voice. The animation is smooth and slick; the characters' movements are very well-made, the environments - colors and design - are moody and gritty. The new 3D computer animation in GitS 2.0 is okay - it doesn't hurt the film significantly, but it definitely doesn't help. (I liked this combination much more in South Korea's Wonderful Days.) The music is superb - I love the soundtrack in this film, worth listening to even without the film. The animation and music ultimately blend to create an immersive atmosphere. I'm not familiar with the source material, but the story works as a standalone feature.

Overall, Ghost in the Shell 2.0 is a fantastic SciFi action film. The technical aspects effectively compliment the narrative - the animation, the music, the story - everything is top-notch. I strongly recommend a purchase for fans of SciFi action and anime.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore, full female nudity.

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