Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Film Review: Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Ghost in the Shell (Review)
United States/2017
Format Viewed for Review: Google Movies
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a visually-stunning, genuinely exciting, and faithful adaptation of a classic."

While searching for a terrorist, Major Mira Killian (Scarlett Johansson), a first-of-her-kind cyborg, begins hunting the truth behind her mysterious past...

Ghost in the Shell is an adaptation of the classic manga/movie. I haven't read the manga, but I am a fan of the animated film. Not the biggest fan, mind you, but I've always enjoyed it. For the most part, this is a fairly faithful adaptation. The film follows Major Mira Killian, known primarily as 'Major.' Major is informed that she survived a terrorist attack, but her body could not be salvaged, so she's given a humanoid robot body. She's then assigned to Section 9 to hunt the world's most dangerous terrorists. Specifically for this film, she's hunting a hacker known as 'Kuze,' who happens to be attacking the company that built her. While hunting him, she discovers more about her past. In terms of plot, the film works, but it doesn't really leave an impression. It's missing a certain oomph factor. It leads to a decent ending, though.

Ghost in the Shell is a fun movie despite some of its shortcomings. The plot is faithful, so it should please even-tempered fans. However, like I said, it does leaves something to be desired. It's not the worst issue to have, though, is it? I really enjoyed the world it creates, though. You don't get a full tour, but you visit a few hotspots and you get plenty of shots of the city. The spectacular visuals definitely help this aspect of the film. The film also delivers plenty of action, including a great climax. The stylized action was a lot of fun. I actually wish there was more of it or perhaps some larger set-pieces to really leave an impact—oomph, you know? The movie looks and feels like Ghost in the Shell, which is an accomplishment considering how many adaptations fail at this, so I applaud it.

Scarlett Johansson performed very well as the leading lady. "Beat" Takeshi Kitano, one of my favorite filmmakers, is also great. The entire cast was great, really filling the shoes of their characters. The music was surprisingly good, especially the tracks inspired by the original soundtrack. As I already stated, the special effects were great. The film looks amazing. I especially loved the use of color. The screenplay was written by Jamie Moss, William Wheeler, and Ehren Kruger while Rupert Sanders served as director. I appreciate the writers' effort to stay faithful, but I feel like they missed the opportunity to really deliver a homerun. Or, perhaps it was Sanders who took the safe route? Regardless, nothing in this film is actually 'bad,' it can just be a bit underwhelming at times.

Overall, Ghost in the Shell is a great movie. It's a visually-stunning, genuinely exciting, and faithful adaptation of a classic. If you're looking for some SciFi-action entertainment, don't miss this one.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood.

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