Last night The Adelaidian was invited to a preview screening of Ghost in the Shell, directed by Rupert Sanders. The movie, if you’ve been living in the middle of nowhere, is an adaptation of the original manga (as well as the movies and anime that followed) by Masanori Ota. It stars Scarlett Johansson as Major, a girl whose brain has been put into a robotic ‘shell’ after an accident, and is assigned to a special-operations task-force who deal with terrorists.
I went into this movie with low expectations. The track record of live action adaptations has been atrocious. I would have been ecstatic to see someone finally get it right. But they didn’t. The film was awful.
While Rupert Sanders succeeds in capturing the world’s aesthetic, it’s simply not enough; this vision of futuristic Tokyo is completely devoid of actual people, resulting in a lifeless world decorated with some pretty neon lights. You’re given a handful of plastic characters delivering stale dialogue, there’s zero chemistry between the actors, and every single performance falls flat on its face.
This was very apparent early on in the movie, and so I stifled my criticism in hopes that the action would be enough to redeem it. But it didn’t. What scarce action there was was short-lived, choppy, and incredibly hard to follow at some points.
So there you have it. A movie labelled under ‘action’, ‘crime’, and ‘drama’, completely lacking in both action and drama. But hey, there is a little bit of crime! Hopefully the movie will pique enough interest from the audience to seek out the original source material, however.
Although, as usual, feel free to go out and form your own opinion. Ghost in the Shell is now playing in a cinema near you.