GHOST IN THE SHELL (film review)

Anime has had a massive influence on my art, mainly my use of color and lighting, as has the cyberpunk genre has influenced my writing style. I do these little film reviews for a small group of friends on Facebook who seem to enjoy them and thought I’d post this one here since it had an impact on my art which of course relates to War Dogs.______________________

 

(this one’s a little long-ish) was nowhere near as bad as some made it out to be, but it was not as good as it should have been. It’s not Blade Runner but its also not Super Mario Bros bad. Might get a little Spoilery…

PROS
The visuals are exceptional. Amazing, stunning, pick your favorite term and go with it. The director was smart enough to pluck the most iconic moments from the original anime and re-create them faithfully, almost note for note.

The color scheme is dynamic and vibrant with lots of shadowy areas creeping in at the edges. It gives the impression that advertising in holographic form took precedence over human life/ The corporations generate their artificial daylight while the people skulk around in the darkness beneath buy and selling illegal cyber enhancements the way they do with drugs nowadays.

The action is slick and fast and there’s more of it in this film than the anime but there is also a fair amount of discussion amongst side characters about the nature of the soul, human reality, cyber life and things of that nature but nowhere near as in depth as it was in the anime where the seemed to wax poetic about cyber life every chance they got.

As far as the look goes, its top notch stuff.

Now…

CONS
Its like a hot girl or guy, who read METAPHYSICS FOR DUMMIES once and now wants to have a deep discussion with you about it but doesn’t really understand what he / she is talking about.

The plot is superficial and has tiny glimpses of emotion but flees from them quickly without allowing them to settle in your mind before the next shootout / chase scene occurs. You can’t argue that its the film’s time-frame that prohibited this because the anime ran for a shorter length of time and did explore the topics much more efficiently. Its definitely dumbed down for American audiences.

The film is sleek, fast, and sexy as all hell but ultimately devoid of any depth. They got all the skin right and very little of the heart.

As far as the white washing controversy goes, /i don’t think its applicable here after seeing the film, especially right after re0visiting the anime the night before. There are, I’d say, an equal number of Asians in the film as in the anime and Major looks white in the anime.

Once Major finds out the truth about her past and memories being faked just to inspire her to kill terrorists and she sets out to meet her real mother, a Japanese woman living in a tiny Tokyo apartment, we experience one of the few moments where some heart begins to shine through but before you can feel something, its over and we’re off to the next thing.

There is a definite acknowledgment to who Major really is towards the end when she visits her own grave and meets her birth mother there that could have been a real tear jerker moment but NOPE, gotta go! Things to do, revenge to seek, people to shoot.

So, for visual style alone GiTS deserves a 3. for story content and emotional depth – 1.5. And no, you can’t combine those and give it a 4.5 🙂

Depending on what you want out of the film; action or drama with a healthy amount of dialogue revolving around the soul and cybernetics and the like, make your choice, spend your money, or wait for it to hit Netflix.

I think it will find a following once its streaming.

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