Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Scarlett Johansson in a skin-tight tactical suit… That’s a pretty good marketing strategy.

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Based on the Japanese manga of the same name, Ghost in the Shell is directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman). Since its announcement, much criticism was given to the casting of Scarlett Johansson as The Major. Whether or not the movie will be better if a Japanese actress is cast is anyone’s guess. Here is my review of Ghost in the Shell.

The Major (Johansson) is a cyborg counter-terrorist who/that was saved by and works for Hanka, a private robotics organization with ties to the government. Though her memories from her life before being The Major is blurred, she regularly sees visions of her childhood. In her recent cybercrime case, she meets another cyborg, Kuze (Michael Pitt), who aims to destroy Hanka … and holds the secret to The Major’s past.

Let it be clear that artistic license was obviously used in this movie. The casting does not bother me at all. What matters is the story and how it was delivered.

Batou (Pilou Asbæk) and The Major’s chemistry is well shown in the movie. Their interactions show deep concern and friendship.  Also, The Major’s relationship with her de-facto mother, Dr. Ouelet (Juliette Binoche), provides another good relationship in the movie.

The visuals are stunning! From the robot geishas to the city itself, the CGI helped greatly in building the world of GitS.

Scarlett Johansson’s performance as The Major is a bit of a debate in my mind. It reminds me so much of her performance in 2014 Lucy, and I never liked that movie. But then again, her movement is robotic, and it is kinda obvious why she would act that way.

The fascinating thing about GitS is that it has a great story and characters (just look at the anime), but its greatest blunder is its execution.

The movie feels extremely slow. Half of the time, I find myself demanding the movie to pick up the pace. Scenes that should have shown great character development feels so dull because of the way it is revealed or shown.

The soundtrack may have helped in giving this slow-paced movie a much slower feel.

Ghost in the Shell has great potential. Though it may have an A-list lead and stunning visuals, it fails to deliver a well-paced and engaging story. Sadly, this is…

GREAT GOOD BAD UGLY