Ghost in the Shell
Director: Rupert Sanders
Writers: Jamie Moss, Wiliam Wheeler, Ehren Kruger
Stars: Scarlett Johansson
Review by Mike DeAngelo:
I’m not much of an Anime guy, but I love a good sci-fi flick and Scarlett Johansson has proven herself capable of leading an action franchise in her other films (Lucy, various Marvel films, etc), so I gave this one a go.
Sometimes the less-is-more approach can be just what the doctor ordered for an action or sci-fi film (Taken, John Wick, Lucy, etc). Ghost in the Shell seems to take that approach in its plot, but instead of feeling like a lean, mean, fighting machine, it comes across a bit lazy and hollow.
Visually the movie borrows heavily from both Blade Runner and the anime film it’s based on. It looks beautiful, but when the effects age, I have a feeling this movie won’t have a leg to stand on.
Whitewashing controversy aside, Scarlett tries her best here. Sadly, her attempt to give her cyber-enhanced character, Major, a soul comes across a bit too robotic and empty and her other costars are unable to pick up the slack in any way.
In the end, I think the plot from the 1995 anime movie may have been innovative for the time, but 20+ years later it comes across a bit well-worn and unoriginal. Even with the impressive visuals, Ghost in the Shell is just plain bland.