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Review

‘Ghost in the Shell’ a visual experience with underwhelming ending

April 4, 2017

Major (Scarlett Johansson) is the first of her kind: a human who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier. She is part of a team that is devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers something that makes her question her existence. Was her life stolen instead of saved?

I just want to start off by saying that I have not seen the original anime “Ghost in the Shell” movie, so I really don’t have anything to compare this film to. I have heard that it is one of the more memorable anime movies, and I have a feeling that this movie will be somewhat of a letdown if you are a big fan of the original anime.

Let’s start with the positives first. Johansson is really good in how she portrays the character of Major. I think that the struggle she goes through is believable. With Major being the first of her kind, where does she fit in? She knows she isn’t human anymore, but her brain is while the rest of her is cyber-enhanced. There is a great scene where she meets with a woman and just asks her what things feel like. Major wants so desperately to feel once again, but her machine shell can’t. It is a beautifully sad scene where she battles with who she is.

The most obvious appeal to this film is its visual aspects. With neon bright colors everywhere within a dark and gloomy city, it really makes for a stunning contrast. Paired with a great soundtrack and some good action, the visual appeal is definitely there.

The action feels like a combined mix of the action style of Lilly and Lana Wachowski (“Matrix” trilogy) with that of “I, Robot” and “Lucy” (also staring Johansson). However, sometimes it begins to take itself too seriously and the action becomes a little too serious to bring that fun viewing factor full front.

“Ghost in the Shell” really is fitting with the theme of the film. Being a human ghost with a conscious trapped within the shell of cyber-tech is a strong central aspect that I really like. This theme is mainly focused on this throughout the first half, and it works really well.

The emotional appeal and connection is there for me, as well, as I feel for Major and her longing to find her place within the world. However, as the plot reveals itself and new themes come into play, the emotional appeal and punch isn’t quite there anymore.

I don’t think that the conclusion is as emotionally impactful as the film wanted it to be. I have no idea how the original anime ended, but I hope it ended with a bigger punch to the ole’ emotion box.

Overall, “Ghost in the Shell” is a fun ride with all of its visual appeal, but it lacks a little toward the end with an emotional tug at the heartstrings. If it looks appealing to you, I’d suggest you see it. It’ll be a fun viewing experience. However, if you are on the fence about seeing it, I’d say wait to rent it.

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