Movie Review: Ghost in the Shell


Ghost in the Shell was released on March 31st, 2017, and is the live action remake of the original animated Ghost in the Shell made in 1995. The film is directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman), and boasts stunning visuals and beautifully choreographed scenes reminiscent of The Matrix. The ties between The Matrix and Ghost in the Shell shouldn’t come as a surprise to anime fans, as the original Ghost in the Shell movie partially inspired The Matrix.

Ghost in the Shell follows the main character, Major, who is the first human to be brought back from near death into an android body and made into a covert super soldier. Scarlett Johansson plays Major and holds her own, but in our opinion, is outshined by supporting actors such as Pilou Asbæk who plays Batou, Major’s partner, far more convincingly.

The crowning achievements for this movie are the visuals and the music. The CGI is extremely well done for their budget of $110 million (for comparison, James Cameron’s Avatar had a budget of $237 million and was said to have the best CGI at its time). The music is incredibly well-tuned to the story, pulling the audience further into the world and creating a powerful sensation of suspense.

CGI and music aside, this movie will not blow anyone’s socks off. Contrasted to the original movie, the new Ghost in the Shell seemed to direly lack proper character development. The pacing seemed to always be too fast or too slow, and as a result, the villain, Kuze (Michael Carmen Pitt), was hardly intimidating, making the plot seem boring and inconsequential.

If we hadn’t seen the original Ghost in the Shell and didn’t have such high hopes, this movie would’ve left a far better impression, but coming after the critically acclaimed greatness, Matrix-inspiring original, the new Ghost in the Shell just doesn’t come close to the standard set.