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GHOST IN THE SHELL (2017) *** ½

I’m not really an anime guy. I wouldn’t know a Ghost in the Shell from an Akira. All I know is that this movie, based on the beloved Japanese cartoon and comic book, rocks.

Imagine if John Woo used The Matrix technology to remake Blade Runner (okay, Johnny Mnemonic) and that might give you an idea of what we’re talking about.

The movie is basically a remake of Robocop. In fact, I kind of wish this really was the legit Robocop remake instead of that forgettable Robocop remake from a few years ago. It uses the same themes as a Robocop movie and tweaks them for the 21st century, creating something familiar, and at the same time, fresh.

It also happens to be one of Scarlett Johansson’s best. I didn’t think she’d be able to top her performances in the Marvel movies where she wore incredibly skintight suits and beat up hundreds of guys, but somehow she does just that here. What makes her performance so great in this one is that she wears a skintight suit that is flesh-toned and nearly anatomically correct. This way whenever she’s beating up hundreds of guys, it leaves little to the imagination as to what’s underneath.

The film also gives us some pretty neat glimpses into the future. I liked that hookers have floating LCD signs above their heads that advertise what they’re charging. I also dug the body modifications that allow people to become more robot-like. I’m not talking about the eyeballs that give you instant night vision. I’m of course referring to the modified liver that allows you to drink like a fish without damaging your innards.

Director Rupert (Snow White and the Huntsman) Sanders does some pretty nifty stuff with the action. The opening sequence is breathtaking and he also gives us a cool, atmospheric fight in a darkened hallway where the only flashes of light come from electric tasers. While some of the fight scenes feel a bit generic, I defy you not to smile when you hear the words “Activate Spider Tank!” This Spider Tank guy is pretty badass and he can kick butt like ED-209.

A side note regarding the whole “Whitewashing” debacle. I have seen the original Ghost in the Shell anime, although I can’t for the life of me remember anything about it. All I can say is that this is a case of people condemning something before they actually see the finished product. You see, the “shell”, or robot exterior, may be Caucasian, but the “ghost” or spirit that is inside of it, is Asian. Since my mother always told me it’s what’s on the inside that counts, I have to say a lot of the negative comments that were heaped on the film before its release were unjust. Then again, I’m not an anime guy, so what do I know?

Comments

( 1 comment — Comment )
darksteel6
Apr. 5th, 2017 03:25 pm (UTC)
I get why people are upset over the whitewashing, but ScarJo did a good enough job that i'm not too bothered by it.
( 1 comment — Comment )

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