Inspired by the hit anime feature film that was adapted from a Japanese manga, Ghost In The Shell is basically a Neo Noir cyberpunk action mystery set in a near future where transhumanism has taken hold in such a profound way that for a human being not to be augmented with some form of technological enhancement is almost considered exotic if not old fashioned. Scarlett Johansson plays Major, a member of an elite police unit that focuses on cybernetic crimes and espionage. After an assignation where the body is stolen occurs, Major and her partner Batou (Pilou Asbaek) are on the hunt for the terrorist. The search opens up existential questions regarding the nature of humanity and how one defines it.
Ghost In The Shell features an uncredited cameo by Michael Wincott as well as supporting roles by Takeshi Kitano, Juliet Binoche and a creepy character turn by Michael Pitt. The effects are state of the art and breathtaking. Johansson actually served the role quite well and from what I can tell, it seems as though the film is faithful to the anime that inspired it. However much of what is been explored here has been explored in a variety of films in the same genre that include Bladerunner, The Matrix Trilogy, Battlestar Galactica and HBO's Westworld to name a few and as a result some of the more profound implications do not seem very new at all. The transhumanism examples are borderline frightening if not shocking, but at times some of the action scenes seem a little underwhelming or stilted as though they belong in another film. Still there is no denying that this is a good science fiction noir and I think it is going to look gorgeous on Blu-ray Disc and is well worth checking out on the big screen especially for fans. Ghost In The Shell is at the time of this posting, now playing in theaters globally.
(C) Copyright 2017 By Mark A. Rivera.
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