Ghost in the Shell (2017)
Critic Consensus: Ghost in the Shell boasts cool visuals and a compelling central performance from Scarlett Johansson, but the end result lacks the magic of the movie's classic source material.
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Critic Reviews for Ghost in the Shell
Sadly, as the plot proceeds, Sanders begins to duck ... bothersome concepts. He picks a more sentimental path, which leads Major, following the example of Jason Bourne, on a quest to discover who she truly is.
It gets bogged down in aesthetics that are stimulating only for the sake of stimulation, seemingly without a flicker of thought behind them. Shell indeed, but there's no ghost at home.
A flimsy copy of a copy, one that recreates some of the anime's set-pieces nearly shot for shot, but then pares away nearly everything else that made the original a classic.
It's unfortunate, if predictable, that Hollywood found it necessary to almost entirely eliminate deep think in favor of deep action.
Ghost in the Shell is visually compelling but tone deaf.
Audience Reviews for Ghost in the Shell
Really enjoyed it, but I did with the anime. Not as subtle as that, but still a fun scifi romp.
Rupert Sanders delivers a shell with no ghost in Ghost in the Shell. Downloading in at 100 minutes, Ghost in the Shell shelves out a visual display with a story that starts off well, but fizzles down as the film progresses. The complexities of the futuristic science fiction atmosphere and plot details lack sufficient explanation; only enough to get by. The action is limited, which isn't a problem. The film is story driven with pieces of nicely placed action sequences to fill in some time. To top it off, the visuals are worth noting. Scarlett Johansson, along with many other characters, are monotone in nature. A bit of a turnoff, but at the same time, fitting with the plot. As a science fiction picture, not a remake, Ghost in the Shell delivers enough to be a worthwhile watch.
Casting controversies and source material aside, GITS works in more ways than it doesn't as its own piece of entertainment. Admittedly the film starts rather poorly with a myriad of bloated, cliche scifi dialogue, characters and things often caught trying too hard to explain itself. Scenes edited into the next without any real semblance of fluidity. However once things pick up momentum it really manages to find itself as an intrapersonal thriller. So much that I was almost surprised the first half of the film was directed by the same person as the second. Eventually we're given a narrative of self discovery layered under a crime procedural that utilizes a lot of high concept sci-fi elements to its advantage. The visuals are given much praise but were more than often a distraction and almost too much at times. If I were not a fan of the GitS franchise all the flash seems arbitrary and should have been used more sparingly for better impact. Sure, it's not the philosophical endeavor of existential debate that was the original animated film; but it's irresponsible and foolish to say that it doesn't retain many of those themes. GitS has seen many reiterations over the years, the manga, the films, the SAC series, the Arise series... each is very different but key elements/themes remain. This 2017 film is just another re-imagining that I was able to enjoy. PS. Adding 0.5 to the rating cause I love this franchise.
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