Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell

2017.  Directed by Rupert Sanders.

By Brian Wallinger

A remake of the iconic Japanese anime, Ghost in the Shell is an example of every reason why American studios should not continue to produce watered down versions that do nothing more then add insult to the source material.  

The film is a complete uninspiring mess, despite a highly stylish visual presentation of a futuristic pan Asian metropolis and an overall solid display of gun fights.  Scarlett Johansson gives an underwhelming performance as a synthetic android operating for a top secret government group that is involved in a devious experiment that is targeted by an unknown terrorist.

The script is lifeless, filled with forgettable characters, with Takeshi Kitano being the exception.  However, even his formidable presence is tarnished during every exchange with Johansson as she converses in English and Kitano speaks Japanese, a lazy, and perhaps telling stylistic choice .  Still, there are some moments of fast paced action, however they never seem to last and the film itself ultimately proves that its only reason to exist is solely to generate revenue, as it continually refuses to add anything new to the story or even adequately serve as an homage to its predecessor.  

If you view this film without ever having seen the original and you accept it for what it is, you may find some sort of mild enjoyment. However, if you are on the same side of the fence as myself and have seen the anime and are thinking about viewing this, I can confidently tell you to not waste your time. The overall production design is more memorable than the entire film as a whole, but visual appeal doesn't mean interesting or engaging.  

In the end,  Ghost In The Shell is a painful film whose potential diminishes before it has a chance to evolve into something truly great, thanks to an unimaginative script and a lifeless central performance.  This is a film that manages to take a concept that is full of possibility and imagination and predictably produce yet another soulless replication, serving as proof that some things are better off left in the past as we remember them.

☆☆

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