Ghost In The Shell (2017) Review

A visually stunning world, layered with Cyperpunk goodness.

Release Date: March 31st, 2017

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Science Fiction

Rated: PG

Before I write this review, I will come clean and be honest to say that I have not seen the original anime film of Ghost In The Shell (1995). I have owned it for a while but I haven’t watched it yet. This will change soon and I’ll post a review for it as well . So I’m not going to compare the two, this is just based on the live action film. I was super interested in this live action take on this though, I have heard nothing but great things about the anime and the trailer blew me away, especially with the visual effects that were being used. It just looked super interesting and fun, so off I went to see it in IMAX 3D.

Ghost In The Shell is a Science Fiction, Action, Crime, Drama film set in the neat future. It is about a cyber enhanced human named Major who was saved from a terrible accident. She is enhanced to be a perfect solider devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals who are capable of mind control.

Ghost In The Shell is directed by Rupert Sanders. This will be short as I have not seen anything else that Sanders has directed. However, I think that he did an excellent job in the directors chair on this movie. I thought his action scenes were well shot and choreographed, I thought where he put is camera and how he shot the film was well done. The cinematography that he was able to gather with the world of this movie was just spectacular. I was so blown away by the visuals in this movie and the cinematography. It was an absolute feast for the eyes, from the great action to the downright beautiful world that was created; I had a lot of The Fifth Element (1997) and Blade Runner (1982) vibes from this movie, and it sucked me in even further because Cyberpunk is a super cool genre.

The screenplay of Ghost in the Shell was written by Jamie Moss, William Wheeler, and Ehren Kruger. Jamie Moss’s writing filmography consists of Street Kings (2008). William Wheeler’s writing filmography consists of nothing I have watched yet. Ehren Kruger’s writing filmography consists of Reindeer Games (2000), The Ring (2002), Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (2009), Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (2011), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014). I thought the script and screenplay were good, but there were some issues. I didn’t like some of the characters, some of the characters seemed really hollow and not well developed. The dialogue thought wasn’t cheesy, which I thought was a good thing as its a supposed to be a serious film. Having Ehren Kruger as a writer, I would have suspected that there would be stupid humour involved, as per his involvement in the 3 Transformers movies, but I think that Moss and Wheeler levelled it out.

The film stars Scarlett Johansson as Major, Juliette Binoche as Dr. Ouelet, Michael Pitt as Kuze, and Chin Han as Togusa.

Scarlett Johansson’s filmography consists of Home Alone 3 (1997), Lost In Translation (2003), The Perfect Score (2004), The Prestige (2006), The Avengers (2012), Don Jon (2013), Her (203), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Hail, Caesar! (2016), and Captain America: Civil War (2016), I like Scarlett Johansson’s acting. She’s fun to watch, she’s a great action star but she definitely has many unique quirks that she adds to her movies. In this movie, as she’s cyber-enhanced, a lot of her movement and her mannerisms seemed a to more robotic, I first started to notice when she was walking around, everything seemed a little more stiff. I think it added a lot to the character of Major. I think she did a great job in this movie.

Juliette Binoche’s filmography consists of Chocolat (2000), Dan In Real Life (2007), and Godzilla (2014). I am not too familiar with Binoche’s work, I liked her in Chocolat from what I remember and I don’t particularly remember her specifically in Dan in Real Life or Godzilla. I thought she was okay in Ghost In The Shell, her character was a lot weaker, and the character wasn’t as impactful as it should have been. But she was okay.

Michael Pitt’s filmography consists of Seven Psychopaths (2012), and Hannibal {TV Series} (2014). I am not familiar with Pitt’s work, however I thought he played the character of Kuze well. He was very intimidating every time he was on screen and I thought that he did a good job as the antagonist of the film.

Chin Han’s filmography consists of The Dark Knight (2008), 2012 (2009), Sleeping Dogs {Video Games} (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), and Independence Day: Resurgence (2016). I really liked Han in The Dark Knight, he was evil but funny. It was cool to see him in this role as I’ve type casted him in my mind playing a stereotypical business man, always in a suit, and dealing with big corporations. In Ghost In The Shell he was a member of Section 9, a group of soldiers that included Major that are tasked to take down high threats. It was neat to see him play something different, and I enjoyed his character.

I enjoyed most of the characters and acting in this movie, there were definitely bigger named characters that should be talked about but I am not familiar with the actors who played them. The character of Batou played by Pilou Asbaek I thought was a really cool character, and I thought that he had great chemistry with Major. It added a lot to to the movie, and made it all seem a little more human.

I love the visuals in this movie as I have already stated above, but holy crap did this movie ever look fantastic. The city looked almost like this crazy neon-esque wonderland, except it was a futuristic city, there weren’t any flying cars, in fact the cars looked really unique and different. I almost feel like the city was a character in Ghost In The Shell as much as any of the actors were. I got lost for a bit in it.

The soundtrack also deserves to have a spotlight. I thought the soundtrack to this movie was perfect, it fit the style of the film perfectly, which doesn’t surprise me considering it was done by Clint Mansell and Lorne Balfe. Mansell composed the music for Requiem For A Dream (2000), Man on Fire (2004), Doom (2005), Moon (2009), Mass Effect 3 (2011). I was blown away by the soundtrack and I hope theres a streaming edition that comes to TIDAL soon because it would be music I would listen to.

My issues with this movie is the script of the movie falling apart in some places and with some characters being just okay. The story also suffered some pacing issues, nothing too major… (pun unintended) but there were parts of the film that seemed to drag a little long, but I was still captivated by the scenery and visuals.

I also recommend seeing this film in the IMAX format if you can, the sound design and the visuals mixed with the IMAX 3D really made this movie an experience.

Theres a lot of weird criticism going around online from the supposed “whitewashing” amongst other things. I don’t know about all of this, I can’t compare it to the original anime film or the comic book as I haven’t seen or read both. I don’t feel like the controversy around it is even worth it, and I also don’t know what movie the critics were watching. But what I can say is that this movie was visually stunning and it was a pretty well made movie. There is some issues, but I still found it to be quite enjoyable and entertaining.

I give Ghost In The Shell a 4/5. I liked it quite a bit and I’m excited to add the blu-ray to my collection whenever it comes out.

Until Next Time!



I will try to get a review up for the original 1995 anime of Ghost In The Shell sooner than later.

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