Director: Rupert Sanders
Writers: Shirow Masamune (based on the comic “The Ghost in the Shell” by), Jamie Moss (screenplay by)
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano
Plot: In the near future, Major Mila Killian is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals.
Running Time: 1 Hour 47 Minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 43% Audience 51%
Why I Watched It: More curiosity then anything else. know the original but never saw it.
Random Thoughts: This started a crap storm for sure, let’s say it wasn’t well received. To be fair it’s always tricky to true and remake something that is considered a classic in it’s genre, I get Hollywood thinking they had to change things for American audiences but they went a little far. Now I have seen parts of the Anime classic put really don’t know the Manga that well, of course heard of it and also know lots of people love it. Now I’m going to review this film and not try to compare it to the other film. A remake should always be able to stand on it’s own.
What I Liked: To say the least this is an interesting film not good per say but maybe not as bad as I thought it was going to be, to say the least it’s a mixed bag. Scarlett Johansson is a star pure and simple and I do think her choices are a wee bit daring and not safe at all for a star. She’s fine here, she does what she needs to do and she’s likable, at times she seems a bit lost with her character and doesn’t always seem to have a grasp but I think some of that is script and also the nature of the character. For the most part the acting is fine, the one person who stood out is Pilou Asbaek, really the most interesting character and the one who seem to flesh out their character the most.
Everything else in the film is the before mentioned mixed bag, nothing is great, the look of the film seems cheap at times and you can tell the studio didn’t want to go all in for this and its shows but some of the effects and visuals were different and did sell this different and futuristic world to me.
I did like the fact the plot was almost film noir like, there’s a major plot but underneath a mystery, secrets, and the film does look like a poor man’s Blade Runner not in it’s self a bad thing.
What I Didn’t Like: The plot/script is what undid this film, it’s overly confusing and really at it’s core a pretty simple story, if they focused on the base Sci-Fi story and human element of the story then it might have worked but they really Hollywooded this story and it shows, all the subtext is lost to say this film is heavy handed is a huge understatement. Of course they focused on the action and that is what really falls flat, the effects in the fight scenes aren’t great and the main villain is boring.
Why is Juliette Binoche in this film, I ask as a fan of hers and also they did nothing with a great actor, if you’re lucky to land her then give her something to do. She’s wasted in, and her character is a plot point a cliche.
This film misses the point of the story, they threw aside the human element, there’s a heart to this story and they tossed it aside for action and second rate visual effects and the mystery is not really a very well good one, you really see it coming. Watching this film you get the sense no one had a sure hand on the material, too many cooks in the kitchen, this film screams of studio notes.
Final Thoughts: An odd mess, watchable to a point but a missed opportunity to be sure.