Despite a lacklustre story and standard action set pieces, there’s no denying that the robotic future is stunningly realized here. The settings are vibrant with a psychedelic medley of neon colour and the general design and feel of the film is consistent from start to finish. Whilst the story is serviceable, there’s nothing here that really stands out with a cliched tale of finding lost memories the driving force for our protagonist Major. (Scarlett Johansson)
A human/robot hybrid made to be the perfect soldier, Major is tasked with stopping terrorists that have started to hack robots to take down their targets. As she prepares to take down a new enemy, shealso has to wrestle with her memories and try to remember who she really is. I won’t give anything away of course but after a bright opening, the film does dip a bit and takes a while to get going again.
The acting itself is simply okay. There’s nothing that really stands out here and to be honest you probably won’t notice. Visually, the film is absolutely gorgeous. The world is a character in its own right and the cinematography is done smartly here by incorporating as much of the world in the shots as possible. Whether it be a moody nightclub, the crowded, choked neon-lit streets or simply a Japanese restaurant, the set design and visuals are second to none. It’s just such a pity that the story isn’t up to the same level. The action is also okay as well but again, there isn’t anything here that hasn’t been done better in other films with standard hand to hand and gun fights dominating the action.
Overall, Ghost In The Shell is simply an okay film, closer to good than bad on the rating scale and that’s solely due to the visuals. There’s certainly a lot going on and as a hard science fiction flick, there’s a lot to like. Visually, the film is outstanding with some of the best uses of colour and original set design seen this year. Having said all that, the story is average at best and large portions of the film do drag. Its a shame really as despite this, there isn’t a lot to take from this missed opportunity for a new sci-fi franchise.