In a future in which humanity and technology have begun to merge, a cybernetically enhanced policewoman (Scarlett Johansson) hunts a mysterious terrorist who can hack into his victims' minds and control their thoughts and memories. Her pursuit eventually leads her to discover the full truth about her traumatic past. Pilou Asbaek, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt co-star. Directed by Rupert Sanders (Rupert Sanders), Ghost in the Shell is based on a popular Japanese manga series, which was already adapted into an iconic anime film of the same name. ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi
Director: Rupert Sanders
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Pitt
Release Date: Mar 31, 2017
Rated PG-13 for some Disturbing Images, Intense Sci-Fi Violence and Suggestive Content
Runtime: 1 hr. 42 min.
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
The 1995 Ghost in the Shell anime is a personal favorite of mine so the live action iteration had a lot to live up to. Rupert Sanders nails the aesthetic, borrowing elements from Blade Runner and A.I., throughout. Sanders seems most comfortable replicating iconic sequences from the classic anime and he does it well. The action set pieces are impressive throughout. It’s hard not to be impressed by some of the shots but it’s a shame that the story was neutered. Ghost in the Shell was always a heady meditation on souls, “ghost”, and technology so it’s not unexpected that live action story would be made a bit more palpable. Unfortunately, it’s stripped down to a Jason Borne meets Robocop plot. Thankfully, Scarlett Johansson is excellent as the Major even if she’s not given much narrative meat to chew on. Still, she is always the most interesting thing on screen. That being said decidedly multicultural supporting cast is a spot on. Pilou Asbæk is a solid Batou even if his voice leans closer to Sin City’s Marv than it should. Sadly, Michael Pitt isn’t given much to do as the primary antagonist since he’s just there to move the plot along more than anything else. The live action Ghost in the Shell is an origin story, so fans should hope that future installments have a bit more meat behind the glossy shell.