Tristan French’s review published on Letterboxd:
Today I got the privilege to attend the IMAX sneak peak fan-event of Ghost in the Shell. It was one of my most anticipated films of the year (although I was slightly worried), so I was super excited to see this. While I didn't see the entire film, here are my thoughts on the footage that was shown:
Visually, Ghost in the Shell is incredible! The film opens up with some really trippy imagery that serves as a great introduction. The world that is created is extremely impressive. It's reminiscent of Blade Runner, but its even more visually appealing.
They showed some footage of the action scenes, which are very well choreographed and entertaining to watch. As you may imagine, there are many effects used in the action sequences to make them look cooler: slow-mo shots, close shots of bullets flying, matrix style combat, etc.
Many fans have complained about the casting choice of Scarlett Johnson as the major. Based on the footage I saw, I thought she did a pretty good job. She has a natural presence on screen and I honestly think this is the perfect role for her. Ghost in the Shell is both complex and action-packed, so she gets to play her 2 strengths.
As for the negatives, based on what I saw, Ghost in the Shell suffers through the same thing warcraft suffered through. It's so fast paced, that if you are not familiar with the anime, you will have a hard time following along. It doesn't do a very good job of setting the world up and it can be quite frustrating.
Also I should warn fans of the anime, this is more action based then the anime series. While the anime takes a much more psychological approach, this film is faster and more action packed, although it does still present facisinating themes and moral questions.
Based on the footage I saw, Ghost in the Shell looks like an incredible visual achievement, but I'm slightly afraid that the story won't deliver on the same level.
Also for those wondering, it's probably going to be PG-13.