Ghost in the Shell (2017)

The official movie site is here.

Ghost in the Shell is a 2017 Hollywood adaptation of Mamoru Ishii manga with the same name. As in so many other Hollywood movie nowadays, this movie is no exception to whitewashing accusation with the casting of our beloved Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson, as the main protagonist. 

Ghost in the Shell sets on the future New Port City, that looks like Tokyo swallowing so many neon colors gummy bears with hologram advertisements and people that has been “enhanced”. Our protagonist is Major Mira Killian or Major (Johansson) where on the past (and on the original manga) she was called Motoko Kusanagi. Major is an android that has a “ghost” since the brain of Kusanagi is implanted on her. She was made on the lab of Hanka Robotics, under the surveillance of Dr. Ouélet (Juliette Binoche at her best) and later works for government agency Section 9 under the command of Chief Aramaki (Takeshi Kitano, that plays his most of his parts without nearly left his desk chair). She was assisted by Batou (Pilou Asbæk) and Togusa (Chin Han).

One day, Hanka Robotics faces a terror where some of their scientists were killed. Hanka’s boss, Dr. Cutter (Peter Ferdinando), asks for help from Major and her Section 9 team. Major’s investigation leads her to a cyber-terrorist named Kuze (Michael Pitt, under his Kylo-Ren-styled hoodie). Major decides to go and find him, while Kuze continues his plan on killing Hanka’s scientist. When he is nearly killed Ouélet, Major finds and counters him. Kuze makes her questions her reasons why she works for Hanka after all. She confronts Ouélet and figures out she is not the first experiment, though she is the first to survive. When Hanka realizes she knows their real face, they try to shut her down, but Ouélet lets her go and leads her to her long lost mother of Motoko Kusanagi.

Although I have real objection of the whitewashing concept of Hollywood, the casting of Scarlett Johansson cannot be looked with one eye. I mean, who will be more fit into those  eggshell camouflage costume rather than ScarJo? We could find her both scary with her camouflage ability and tempting within her beauty and her agility. However, Johansson’s probably the best thing we can expect in this movie other than Takeshi Kitano who looks so convincing in his role. Other things are so dull.

This movie looks like a cosplay movie, where Rupert Sanders as director is not brave enough to make reformation from the original manga, probably he is afraid he can get the loyal fans of this manga angry. The result is predictable and dull movie. The plot is no surprising at all, even for the one who doesn’t know the original manga like me. The plot seems to be Maze Runner (2014) movie sets in the style of Blade Runner (1998) and on the location of The Matrix (1999). The other characters felt like they are just complementing Johansson, whom her android flat face controls all the emotions of this movie.

So if you think that this movie is this decade’s The Matrix, well it’s not that revolutionary actually. I give this movie a 6.8/10.


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