by Nolan James – Staff Reporter
“Ghost in the Shell,” released on Mar 31, is a remake of the beloved Japanese animated movie and manga. The original “Ghost in the Shell” is famous for its complex and morally ambiguous story. This new movie, directed by Rupert Sanders, spits in the face of the original story with its dumbed-down and clichéd plot, adding another movie to the cyberpunk genre that does not contribute anything new.
“Ghost in the Shell” stars Scarlett Johansson as Major Mira Killian, a cyborg police officer trying to stop a criminal who hacks into the brains of people. However, the Major learns that the criminal is another cyborg like herself, and was the prototype cyborg discarded as a failure.
The Major soon learns of her past life, and that the government had taken her against her will and turned her into a cyborg weapon. This is not part of the original movie, nor should it be. The whole ‘turned into a weapon by the government’ cliché has been used to death by other movies in the cyberpunk genre, and is, unfortunately, the major focus of this movie.
While the story still falls short of the original movie, it is not all bad. There are a lot of touching, emotional moments that tug at the heart, like the Major visiting her mother from her past life, and all of the throwbacks to the original movie are fun to see when they occur.
One thing that this movie was definitely missing, however, was the legendary soundtrack from the original movie. While part of the original’s haunting soundtrack plays during the end credits, the movie itself was filled with bland action-movie music. It did not stand out at all, to say the least.
As far as it goes for the actors, they mostly did a decent job. Scarlet Johansson stood out the most, half of the time portraying the emotionless cyborg perfectly. Sadly, however, the Major had more emotional moments than in the original, so Johansson’s typical robotic acting stood out as awkward during those scenes.
One of the main aspects of a cyberpunk movie is the futuristic world, which, sadly, was not great in this movie. The design team threw too much in, so the world ended up too detailed to be realistic. With so much futuristic technology, the world was distracting instead of awe-inspiring like other films’ worlds in the genre.
The rest of the movie was not very interesting. The graphics were decent, but were not anything special, and the cinematography did not stand out at all. The majority of the movie felt this way, uninteresting and overall bland.
“Ghost in the Shell” showed a lot of potential, with the first act seemingly focusing on the dangers of technology, as people with robotic attachments were hacked by a terrorist. However, the movie instead decided to focus on the government using people as weapons, which does not leave much of an impact.
The movie was a failed attempt to recreate a classic story, trying too hard to be like other movies in the genre instead of like the original. Because of this, just another cyberpunk movie was born rather than anything significant or worthwhile. At the very least, there will always be the original movie to go back and watch time and time again.