Friday, March 31, 2017

GHOST IN THE SHELL

Ghost in the Shell movie poster
Supposedly saved from a terrible crash, Major (Scarlett Johansson) is a human who has been cyber-enhanced to be the perfect soldier. Part of the Section 9 task force in the near future, Major seeks to stop a terrorist who is killing employees of Hanka Robotics and is capable of hacking people's minds to control them. While on this mission, she uncovers lies about her past and must find the truth before others are hurt.

Stunning visuals don't compensate for the
predictable story and two-dimensional characters that dominate this live-action anime. Based on the Japanese manga by Masamune Shirow, director Rupert Sanders ("Snow White and the Huntsman") creates a spectacular "Blade Runner" landscape with a little help from cinematographer Jess Hall. But the look isn't enough to hold the audience's attention. With silly dialogue, the cast is just going through the motions. Scarlett Johansson, who has proven to be a capable superhero as Marvel's Black Widow, spends the entire film trying to act tough with a grimace on her face. Pilou Asbæk doesn't fare any better as her task force partner Batou. Also lost in this mess are Juliette Binoche as the doctor responsible for Major and Michael Carmen Pitt as the hooded terrorist Kuze. Oddly, Japanese actor 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano, as chief of Section 9 Aramaki, is the only Asian performer to have an integral role in this oriental fantasy. An emotional ending linked to the cyber-soldier's past is too little, too late and only hardcore fans will applaud this weak effort. The tedious "Ghost in the Shell" lacks spirit. (2 CAMS)


Rated PG-13 (intense sequences of sci-fi violence, suggestive content and some disturbing images)
Running Time: 107 minutes