1.) The visuals look amazing. When the movie shows shots of the city, the holographic images looks fake yet real at the same time. Even certain CG characters (i.e. the Geisha robots) look realistic. Not all of the CG is perfect, but props go to the visual effects team in making life-like visuals…
2.) …Speaking of life-like, the word of Ghost in the Shell reminds me so much of every other cyberpunk medium like Deus Ex, Robocop, Blade Runner, The Matrix, etc. I enjoy how much they show rather than tell what the technology of that world is like. If it makes me feel like going to that world, the filmmakers did a great job immersing people into the movie in terms of its world.
3.) There are many cinematic shots that look pretty cool. Many of them are reminiscent to the original 1995 anime film. If there is one thing that the movie does well, it makes many of the scenes look cool…
1.) …However, just because it looks cool, that does not mean it is cool. For one thing, the filmmakers have made some changes from the 1995 film, and those changes are not good. Talking about it will spoil the movie, but let’s just say the intentions from the original does not compare well into this movie.
2.) I watched the original 1995 film a few years ago, and I remember that there are many philosophical and religious discussions and symbolism. This 2017 movie tried to do the same thing, but it is not as strong. In many cases, it is just outright pointless. It is brought up only to be forgotten with a decent action scene. I feel like they were trying, but they got bored and just rushed to the key plot points from the original.
3.) Just like the Iron Fist, this movie gained controversy for the fact that they hired a white woman to play a Japanese woman. This angry reaction is slightly more justified, but given the fact that the director of the 1995 film is fine with Scarlet Johansson as the Major, I will be fine with it as well.
Even the Japanese are fine with it.
However, the movie itself actually gives a reason why the Major is white instead of Japanese. If you are one of the many people who hated that the Major is played by a white person instead of a Japanese one, then you are going to hate the reason why she is white in this movie.
Based on the anime film in 1995 that is based on the manga of the same name, Ghost in the Shell is ridiculously controversial in terms of its casting of Major Motoko Kusanagi. Just like I said in my Iron Fist review, I really do not care as an Asian person myself as long as the movie itself is good. Going back to the movie, I have seen the 1995 anime film once a few years ago, and I thought it was interesting yet strange. Watching this movie, I do remember some of the events that happened in the original, but not enough to make me bias with the new movie on its own. As a cyberpunk movie, I enjoy its delivery of its source material, but it seems clear they want to make it deep, but lack the effort. They are trying to make it mean something, but it ends up making me want to watch the original or any other cyberpunk films. If you want to see futuristic action movie with an interesting world, this movie is a decent start. That said, if you are a fan of the Ghost in the Shell anime film, I suggest you stay away since there are enough changes that are likely going to tick you off.
I did watch this movie in 3D, and it is not worth it at all since the 3D effects are not used that much.