This new live-action film has bombed because it has the franchise’s shell but not its ghost. Style is the utmost substance in “Ghost in the Shell” which is a super-efficient and completely empty live-action gloss on the much loved as well as precious manga written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow and adapted into Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 classic animated movie. The main plotline revolves around the Major helping a special ops team capture the Puppeteer (called the “Puppet Master” in the movie), who can effectively hack into the brains of humans and cyborgs, to make them do his bidding. Oshii’s original film is a si-fi successful, beloved, violent, poetic, perplexing and unforgettable. Fans return to it not only for its compelling world building and sensual protagonist but for its seductive ghostliness, rational questioning and cyber-inflected existentialism.
Source : flickeringmyth
This movie which is more brawny than brainy, more streamlined than twisty, more straight-ahead than otherworldly is directed by former TV-commercial ace Rupert Sanders (whose only previous feature is Snow White and the Huntsman) from a screenplay credited to Jamie Moss and William Wheeler, ostensibly cost over $110 million to make. It’s a much dull set-up for a franchise resolving in a dystopian Tomorrowland Tokyo with Scarlett Johansson playing the robot fitted with the body of Scarlett Johansson, and the brain of a refugee who drowned in a barbaric terrorist attack.
Johansson has played the role of character, called the Major for which she was trained to become the super best fighter for a counterterrorism group funded by a soulless cybernetics company called Hanka. Her newest target is a terrorist hacker named Kuze (Michael Pitt) who has been putting a target on the heads of top scientists of Hanka. On the other hand, the goal of Hanka’s sinister is to master the complete intelligence apparatus of the state itself. Apart from her fierce ability to flip, twirl, scale walls and shoot her like piñatas, there is much more to her which is realized by the Major amongst the fights, action sequences and life-threatening dull elucidation.
Source : empireonline
It has not only left the Japanese characters aside, but alsi stripped the source material of nearly all of its fondness and humanity (set in Tokyo though), and has glossed it over with layers and layers of Hollywood polish, which tremendously increased the the cost of the movie. Even though piles of money have been thrown at state-of-the-art technological whoop-dee-doo including 3D, this mutation is a shallow, noisy attention seeking movie that feels nothing special and is much similar to something we could have been watching over a decade ago. You’d expect this new version to at least deliver some kick and bang from the universe it creates in New Port City and it does. It’s a vast horrors cape of hologram billboards of smiling geishas, glaring neon and towering skyscrapers. But it all feels like the noir cityscapes we saw back in 1982’s Blade Runner.
Tue adventure isn’t even that bad as there are the highly choreographed spins, twirls, lunges and thrusts, and the variations on slomo gunplay, but that stuff isn’t something fresh or new any longer and has already been seen in The Matrix. The action scenes, for all their punch and pizzazz, resemble to video games to much extent.
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The main assets of the movie include Johansson. She had played the role in Lucy, Under the Skin and the Avengers films and has the market pretty much cornered on sexy superhero kick-ass-ness coupled with deadpan robotic stares and Mona Lisa smiles. Despite of Johansson’s casting having generated lots of criticism about whitewashing, she doesn’t get to do anything near as persuasive and menacing as she does in the modern classic of Under the Skin. This movie even puts a depressant on her charm.
The multitalented Japanese comic-director-painter legend Takeshi “Beat” Kitano as Chief Daisuke Aramaki, the boss of Section 9, subjugates the screen with a minimal effort and almost no dialogue, and a maternal Juliette Binoche handles her cameo with gravity and warmth. This is one of those movies that ever cried out for a touch of warmth. As is the case with so many elements of the movie, the pile-driving music score by Lorne Balfe and Clint Mansell can’t touch Kenji Kawai’s haunting and thrilling score for the 1995 version. The Major has a soul but sadly this cannot be said for the movie she’s in.