Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ghost In The Shell - Movie Review

Wow, how cool was that? I had no idea this movie would actually be this good! I was totally expecting a sub-par remake of the all time anime classic. After all who could possibly make anything half as brilliant as Mamoru Oshiis' animated masterpiece? Nobody of course. This redux has a lot going for it all the same. 

But first, the weak spots. The biggest fail of all time is the fact that Scarlett Johansson decided not to play this in the buff like the original anime robot. Instead she is fitted with a latex body suit which is a huge let down even if it allows the movie to be rated PG13. Why can't us adults get to see a movie with a naked robot? Just why?

The anime robot was naked. But you knew that!
Also why on Earth did director Rupert Sanders decide to start the movie with a 5 minute flashback sequence that is slow and bothersome instead of 'plunging' right in the way the anime does with Major's dive from the building roof?
This has the effect of blunting the noir dread that is supposed to infuse this cyberpunk epic. To that point, everything is a little bit too clean and well lit.
A little too clean.
Last but not least this movie is lacking a proper kick ass soundtrack. I mean Tron Legacy has Daft Punk, man! The original anime has a beautiful eerie theme song by Kenji Kawai but this film relegates it to the end credits... bad move. They should've gotten Deadmau5 to score this film!

Scarlett kicks ass!

Now on to the good bits! Scarlett Johansson looks freaking perfect as Major. She plays it well in a stiff human-machine hybrid way. (I still think she should have been naked - I mean just think of the publicity! Built-in ad campaign! Chickens, the lot of them... )

The evil Geisha robot is dope. I want that thing as a body guard! 
Batou played by Pilou Asbaek is awesome rad too. 

In the original anime his look was inspired by the Italian comic book character RanXerox who was another cyberpunk icon of the 80s.  

RanXerox classic 80s cyberpunk icon by Italian artist Liberatore.
Cyberpunk is a product of the 80s and Ghost In The Shell took a lot of cues from Blade Runner and Akira. The 80s were not a clean decade and the future looked grimy and dark. Millenials are too used to the sleek rounded corners and shiny surfaces of their asepticized iphones. Anyone remember using a pay phone on 42nd street in 1985? Any way I digress.

I saved the best part for last which are the awesome sfx and glitch tricks. I mean folks, augmented reality is coming and we better get used to navigating the third layer of VR holographic ads. Not to mention naked robots! 


I feel this version of Ghost In The Shell has staying power and will develop a bona fide cult following. Definite addition to my cyberpunk collection!

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