RELEASED: March 31sts 2017
DIRECTED BY: Rupert Sanders
WRITTEN BY: Jamie Moss, William Wheeler & Ehren Kruger
PRODUCED BY: Avi Arad, Steven Paul & Michael Costigan
MUSIC BY: Clint Mansell & Lorne Balfe
STARRING: Scarlett Johannson, Pilou Asbæk, Michael Carmen Pitt, Chin Han, Juliette Binoche & Takeshi Kitano
Ghost in the Shell follows Scarlett Johansson as ‘Major’ Mira Killian; a young Japanese woman resurrected in an artificial body after an untimely death and put to work as a new breed of police operative. However, after coming into conflict with a dangerous hacker, Killian begins to suspect that not everything she’s been told about her lost past is completely true.
Set in a futuristic Japan, this film goes all out with beautiful visuals of a futuristic metropolis, evoking similar films like Blade Runner, but with the sensory input turned up to 11. There’s so much going on in this richly crafted world, and every scene is glorious to behold. There’s the odd moment of slightly sub-par CGI (in comparison to the rest of the film), but overall, this film is very well shot and expertly crafted. From a design standpoint.
From every other standpoint, this film is pretty terrible.
The characters, for one, aren’t all that interesting. After a brief origin for Johansson’s character, you’re thrown into the centre of events, one year later, and expected to care about this rag-tag team of cyber-enhanced law enforcement agents.
Johansson, most likely by design, plays a character so robotic that you just can’t penetrate her thoughts or emotions, and by the time she begins to open up, you find yourself struggling to keep on paying attention. Her fellow officers are all pretty much nobodies who lack personality, with the only exception being Pilou Asbæk’s Batou, who manages to make a mildly likeable, if still uninteresting, character out of what he’s given. Although that could just be due to me being a fan of his charismatic turn as Euron Greyjoy on Game of Thrones.
Similarly, the story is also really dull. You follow ‘Major’ as she works through an open case, interacting with various characters you don’t care about, and watching her start to realise that she may have personal stakes in catching the criminal at large – stakes you also don’t care about. It’s slow, boring, really drawn out, and when it finally feels like it’s coming up on an ending, it turns out you’ve only been watching for fifty minutes and you’re only halfway through.
This film is such a slog, it’s painful.
Truly, the only saving grace is the visual effects, but even they don’t really make this worth a watch. Just go watch Blade Runner 2049 instead.
All-in-all, I give Ghost in the Shell:
This has ended up being a fair bit shorter than the majority of my reviews, but it’s so boring I can’t bring myself to talk about it anymore. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep at one point during this movie.