Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Caesar Torres

April 4th, 2017

Ghost in the Shell is the American, live-action adaptation of Masamune Shirow’s original Japanese comic, Manga, and Mamoru Oshii’s classic 1995 animated film of the same name. I have been looking forward to this film for quite some time. Not only because I was a fan of the original animated film, but because I wanted to see how Hollywood would handle adapting this iconic Japanese story to American screens.

This film takes place in the far future and tells the story of Major Mira Killian (Scarlet Johansson) who was fatally injured in a refugee boat attack. A company named Hanka Industries saves her by placing her brain and mind, or ghost, in an artificial body known as shells. After her recovery, she starts working in the city for an anti-terrorism division known as Section 9. She and her partner Batou (Pilou Asbæk) starts searching for the terrorist known as Kuze (Michael Pitt) who recently started causing havoc in the city by murdering civilians with hacked people and robots. However, the Major is struggling with memories of her past life before joining Section 9. It isn’t until her confrontation with Kuze does she start searching for answers.

Ghost in the Shell is a visual spectacle. I was very impressed with the special effects used in the film. The action sequences are also a delight to watch. There isn’t a ton of action in the film, but when there is, it is very exciting and fun. However, this is all the amount of praise I can give the film.

The original animated film delivered a truly captivating story within an interesting world with unique and diverse characters. This adaptation did not deliver on any of these points. The story was simplified which is insulting to audience members who pay attention to the film’s story. I love it when a film does some world-building so the audience can try to imagine themselves in that universe. The 1995 Ghost in the Shell didn’t have the best world-building, but it is better than the poor job they did in this version. There isn’t any character development with any of the characters in the film, besides the Major, but even then her arc is not fulfilling and I felt like I was never given a reason to care about her. The movie just expects audiences to.

I will say this; however, this film did a better job at the “What does it mean to be human?” aspect of the story than the original version. That was a big surprise, but I do not think I was completely sold on Johansson’s performance as the Major. Johansson is a talented actress; however, I think her portrayal in this film fell flat. Yes, the Major is a cyborg with little to no emotion, but I don’t think Johansson was prepared for this role.

I genuinely think the makers of this film were trying to appeal to fans of the source material and newcomers to the Ghost franchise. The film completely rips scenes from the 1995 film and puts it in this film which was a joy to see as a fan, but these scenes don’t hold as well as they did before. The best thing that could come out of this film is that audiences might go check out the original film to appreciate the story and originality.    


Caesar Torres

Features Editor

Tags: , , ,

Recent News

Slut Walk at SXU Brings Sexual Assault Awareness to Campus

April 21st, 2017

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The purpose of this is to begin a movement to end sexual abuse. In order to show support, Saint Xavier University hosted several events that began in late March and concluded in late April, such as a variety of panels, discussions, and activities. SXU’s…

SJP’s Tournament Helps Rebuild Homes in Gaza

April 19th, 2017

SXU’s SJP hosted a dodgeball tournament to raise money for the Zakat Foundation in the Shannon Center on Friday, March 31st. The tournament took place from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. The cost was $15 per player ages 18 to 25. Teams were required to wear same color shirts and have a…

Multicultural Stigma Event at SXU

April 1st, 2017

On Wednesday, March 29th, SXU’s Psychology Club hosted, for the first time, the Multicultural Stigma event. The purpose was to raise awareness on mental health from a variety of multicultural approaches. It took place in the Butler Reception Room from 1:30pm to 3:00pm. All students and staff were welcomed. Several…

More News Articles >>