Movie review Time!!! Ghost in the Shell. So before I start I think it important to clarify that I am a huge fan boy of GitS. I watched the original in the theater and was hooked right away.
This show is very well done. True fans are thrown off immediately by the fact the Major's name isn't right, and Batou's eyes aren't right, but when Hollywood gets hold of a movie, well anything can happen. OK this I can let go.
The backdrop for this movie is set in a very real possibility of a future. Cybernetics everywhere. Enhancement just for fun. Some people are becoming significantly more machine than human. And that's OK. In the movie this is done so incredibly well. Super high tech layered onto super high tech skyscrapers and crumbling ruins. The ease of access to technology means it is everywhere. The setting gives a very GitS feel to it, as well as beautiful eye candy that has always been part of Anime.
The story line is almost straight out of the movies and tv series. They keep the complex interaction of the characters and the ongoing data accumulation of the crack intelligence and strike team that is Section 9 the team the Major is the field commander for, but wait, she clearly isn't the field commander, ok this one bugs me. The story is clearly on the rails, but the character is not.
The Major in the movie is broken. She is apparently newly in her complete cyber body. A first, and she is seen by her manufactures HANKA corp. as nothing more than a weapon. She is spending an insane amount of time focusing on herself. This is SO not the Major I've come to know and admire.
Several story lines moving forward again very typical of the Anime and the Manga. A skilled and intelligent bad guy killing people for some unknown reason. This is good GitS stuff. Fast paced acquire new data and then into action. They even have the complete team, and for some reason felt the need to add some new members not in the Anime. A curious and odd choice I didn't quite get at the time, but in typical GitS style there is a reason for everything.
Then the reveals, and Oh they are great reveals. The characters all kick butt. They are smart, and act that way. Not to spoil anything but the confusion on my part is because they started the story BEFORE the movie or the manga. It is essentially a rework of an origin story that was never really told.
In the End the Major has her real name, Batou has his eyes, and more importantly her character is exactly the character I expected all along. Well done, well done.
So now I want to touch on something that has upset me since Scarlett was announced to be playing the role of the Major. A lot of people have gotten angry about "white" washing the GitS show. Clearly the people that are angry about this HAVE NEVER WATCHED THE SHOW. They say replacing an Asian character with an Anglo character was wrong. Well it would have been if in the manga or the anime she looked Asian. She does not. In FACT only ONE of the cast of this show looked Asian. The movie has several cast members that are Asian, one of which only speaks Japanese during the movie. More I might add than are in the actual Anime. The point is the Major is a complete cybernetic body. It can look like anything she wants. So it was drawn that way in the manga, it was drawn that way in the Anime, and it was done that way in the movie. There is no white washing here. Just a well done movie that shows a deep respect for its source material and tried, successfully, to show the story from a new perspective.
I loved this movie.