6 points about
Ghost in the Shell
They made a black widow futuristic spin-off movie?? Oh…
Ghost in the shell is based on the 90’s acclaimed anime, which I have never see, and to be honest I had never heard of before this movie was coming out. I never really had much anticipation for this movie, and the early review were middling. I still went ahead and gave it a watch, for the purpose of writing this, so here you go! Read my 6 points about Ghost in the Shell below.
1. This was a visual masterpiece.
Before anything else can be said about this movie, I need to ay this first. Ghost in the Shell is a visual masterpiece, and the ambition that this movie had was clearly large. Regardless of the execution and substance, Ghost in the Shell looked fantastic. This was like a visual lovechild between The Matrix and Blade Runner. The action was similar to that of The Matrix, and the setting was reminiscent of Blade Runner, and was probably better considering the amazing technology used in this movie. One thing that I will give the director Rupert Sanders praise for, is how well he managed his budget, and how some of the shots were just spectacular. A lot of movies with a bigger budget than this one, often have far less impressive visuals. Ghost in the Shell, wasn’t a small yet was nowhere near some today’s blockbuster budgets, so fair play to Sanders for having a great knowledge of how to get the most out of his visuals, and his budget.
2. There was a good story in there somewhere, it just wasn’t brought through in this film.
This is an interesting concept, and I can imagine that when done right, this is a great movie, with a great story. This movie just didn’t deliver in that respect. The wrong people were brought in to make this movie. Rupert Sanders was an awful choice to direct, which I will talk about below, but first the screenplay. There was three credited writers on this movie, one had very little experience in film at all, one had a few smaller films to his name, but nothing to shout about, and one who was involved in writing the Transformers movies. And boy did that show. There was no co-operation or flow to the movie, and the script problems were real. It literally felt like the studio pushed these three guys into a room to work together, but they all did their own thing, and eventually all three different scripts were crammed together. There was no desire to get invested in the characters, there were some weird and unnecessary scenes and some seemingly vital characters or plot points left undeveloped. Many scenes were just exposition of nothing, with stuff I was trying to care about but couldn’t. These writers just couldn’t get the best out of what is clearly fantastic source material.
3. Rupert Sanders was an awful choice to direct.
Whose bloody idea was it to get the director from Snow White and the Huntsmen? I gave him his praise above, and he really seemed to try at this project, but I just don’t think he is that good of a director. He couldn’t get the movie to get going. He had a decent grasp of how to film action, but the action never felt like someone who knew exactly what they wanted to do was behind it. He seemed to make it up as he went along. The movie felt shallow when it should have felt heart-warming and deep. The characters just were bland as hell. I liked the direction that he tried to take the movie in, but there was just no concept there of how to execute it. I would love to have seen Denis Villeneuve direct this movie, or hell as unrealistic as this is, but a Spielberg or a Ridley Scott would have made an amazing movie here with their eyes closed. I don’t want to see anything that Sanders ever comes out with again, and I think he should step back into a producers role from now on, as he has a decent grasp of finding a good story, he just had no idea how to piece it together.
4. The main antagonist was so weak!!
I mean, this was bad. I don’t remember one thing about the dude, and I watched this only a couple days ago. There was a few nice twists, which I quite liked, but the villainous characters in this movie were just so weak that I couldn’t care less. There is no feeling of threat in this movie, and while the stakes are high, they just don’t feel high whatsoever. Everyone could have died and I wouldn’t really have cared. Again, the execution just wasn’t there. If there ever is a sequel, which seems unlikely, but if there is, I want to see them take the villain in a totally different route to the one taken.
5. Johansson and her character carried the movie, and I mean carried.
Johansson was somewhat controversially cast in this movie, in the hope for an American audience appeal. Some cared, some didn’t. Either way, Johansson was the only one who looked like a star in the movie, and the only one that felt like a good actor. Many of the performances were unbelievably wooden, and even then Johansson wasn’t spectacular. She was kind of just going through the motions at times, and even then she was the best in the movie. Her character was also the only one with a bit of meat on the backstory. I liked seeing her figure her past out, and it was taken in a somewhat interesting direction. Without Johansson, this movie would have flopped miserably, and she did add an extra layer to her character that just wasn’t there with everybody else. I will admit that the one cool old Japanese dude who only spoke Japanese, was pretty bad-ass, even though he seemed pointless to the story.
6. Overall, Ghost in the Shell had the right intentions, but ended being way more style over some very poor substance.
Then again, I’m not sure whether or not style over substance is what they were going for here. It ended up that way, and the movie fell flat. I’m sure that if you’re a fan of the aniime, then you will get some enjoyment from the movie, but given my lack of knowledge from the movie, it probably didn’t help my overall experience. A movie should stand on its own merits, and I shouldn’t have to be a fan of previous source material to enjoy a movie so I will give Ghost in the Shell a 4.5/10.