• Ghost in the Shell (2017) - More of the same on a consistent level - 7/10 (12/04/17)

    Ghost in the Shell (2017)

    I haven't read the manga yet but as a fan of both dystopian science- fiction stories and Japanese culture, I decided to watch this movie yesterday. It was overall entertaining but on the other side, it offered more of the same if you are familiar with science-fiction scenarios.

    The story is basically a mixture of Blade Runner, Equilibrium and maybe Tokyo Gore Police and therefore highly predictable. A young female cyborg called Mira Killian, who works as a major for an anti- terrorist bureau in a futuristic world, finds out that she wasn't saved but rather kidnapped by her creators. The beautiful soul in her disposable shell is searching for a sense of life. She tries to find out about her true identity while also chasing a mysterious hacker who is manipulating cyborgs and robots across the city to execute members of the company that created Mira Killian. She will have to choose sides in what might be her most personal case.

    While the plot isn't all that convincing, the acting performances are at least of an average quality. Scarlett Johansson isn't as convincing as in Lucy but even an average performance by her is still above average in general and you will also sympathize with her character. Pilou Asbæk had played alongside Johansson in Lucy and he does the same here and this time around he has a bigger role and does a great job as cool special operative with a dry sense of humor. It's also a pleasure to see Kitano Takeshi on the big screen and Japan's most legendary contemporary actor does a great job as rough and resilient Chief Executive Director.

    The movie focuses mostly on its visual special effects and portrays a futuristic city without a soul. One gets to see many quirky cyborgs, complicated machines, colorful screens, elegant vehicles and sophisticated weapons. The film actually looks closer to a video game than to an actual movie. Everything is very artficial and superficial despite being technically and visually stunning. In this case, the shell looks beautiful but there isn't any ghost inside. The movie actually makes you feel hollow at times but I suppose this was intentional and that's why I won't criticize that in this particular case. The different characters soon realize that they are living in a fake paradise. The underlying message of the movie is that too much technology will make humanity regress instead of progress which is an important statement in the early twenty-first century.

    In the end, Ghost in the Shell is an entertaining dystopian science- fiction movie with an important message. It clearly isn't the bets of its kind but it also isn't the worst. Genre fans should be pleased while those who aren't familiar with that kind of movie will surely start to explore this genre further after watching this film that might serve as an appropriate introduction to its genre. Overall, I still wasn't impressed enough to actually check out the manga of the same name.

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