Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell ★★★★

The Best Anime Adaptation to Date.

I've been anxiously awaiting the release of the Rupert Sanders directed live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell for quite the long time now and now that it's finally here, I feel I can safely say that it's most of what I've wanted to see from a live-action iteration. Every shot is a unique brand of spectacle and the action sequences are totally jaw-dropping and are the main reason why I'm so pumped to re-watch it in IMAX 3D.

This wasn't just about the aesthetic and spectacle, however, I also felt it was a narratively stronger film than I expected it to be. It cherry picks certain plot points and themes (and straight-up copies sequences) not only from the original but also from Innocence and Stand Alone Complex and I was surprised how well it stood on its own and worked as a full film and it also acted as fairly effective fan service but if this gets a sequel, I'd prefer it to take a detour from the revenge plotline and go for a more inspired abstract noir tone and structure. And to avoid from hitting any hot button areas, all I'll say is that I rather liked Scarlett Johansson's take on "The Major" and I felt it made sense and fit for this specific film and what the filmmakers were going for (not to mention the character isn't even "whitewashed" in the first place).

Ghost in the Shell hits on similar themes that every preceding film in the series has and while it isn't as finely nuanced as the other films, it's still a fantastic spectacle and especially for a PG-13 rated studio blockbuster in 2017. It plays to the fans but is still just accessible enough for newcomers and general audiences. All I can say to clear my main point out is that it's overall most of what I expected and wanted to see and I'm overjoyed at how well this film honored it's long-standing and uber-influential source material but I would just have liked it to be a little more thematically and narratively seamless. Highly recommended for GITS fans. (8.75/10)

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