Ghost in the Shell, a movie review

A movie review by: Lee Sonogan

(2017) 1h47min/Action, Crime, Drama


The Major: This is Major. I’m on site.

Ghost in the shell is based on a manga and anime of the same name. With a budget of $110 million, the movie made over $169 million at the box office. Several scenes in this film are exact in visual comparison to the original Ghost in the Shell made in 1995. Even some parts shown in the city are exact re-creations of the original artwork.

Mamoru Oshii, the Japanese director of the original Ghost in the Shell in 1995, has spoken out against the whitewashing controversy surrounding Scarlett Johansson playing the Major despite not being Japanese, he gave her his blessing and said “I believe having Scarlett play Motoko was the best possible casting for this movie,”.

Filmed in Wellington, New Zealand. Although shot in New Zealand and never mentioned in the film, the city depicted is actually a highly digitalized Hong Kong. For example, the dirty slum with narrow housing was Hsam Shui Po and the splendid background when Major in the boat was Hong Kong Island’s Central.

The film credits contain a remixed version of Kenji Kawai’s soundtrack from the original film. It is not the first time the music has been remixed as ‘Beneath the Mask’ by Kenji Kawai and Makai was a drum and bass version from 1998. Oddly, the UK release of the original film had alternate music on the credits – ‘Three Minute Warning’ by Brian Eno and The Edge.

Margot Robbie was considered for the role of the Major. Overall it is visually impressive and had plenty of action scenes. Scarlett Johansson does a convincing job of being a robot with feels. The ending leaves with a voice-over that is decent. I recommend this movie to fans of the original and people who like future themed movies that are creative. I liked the animated version of the movie better.

PS – Go back and watch the anime version for a better quality film of the franchise. There are three of them.


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