Ghost in the Shell is one of those niche movies for a very specific audience so it probably wasn't going to break box office records. The way the studio attempted to get around that was to cast a major star that is already in the minds of science fiction fans. So the lead character, Major, was played by the Black Widow herself, Scarlet Johanson. Boy did this backfire on them.
For those of you that have no clue what this movie is let me fill you in as best I can. The story originated as a Manga story. Manga is a Japanese style comic book and later was made into an anime (japanese animation) movie which is considered to be one of the best anime films ever made! So the writers and directors had huge shoes to fill already before they even started this movie.
The hype for this movie was through the roof. The huge niche following of Manga and Anime couldn't wait for this story to become a live action movie. Then they found out that Johanson was cast as the lead and the world lost its mind! How could they cast a White girl in a role that is specifically for an Asian girl? All of the press that surrounded this movie dealt with the fact that Johanson is white and the role should've gone to an Asian actress. And we all know what its like in 2017. Once race comes up as an issue it is GAME OVER!
The movie was panned in the press and currently has a 46% on Rotten Tomatoes and this movie is way better then a 46%.
I am not a huge fan of Manga or Anime. Its fine, I just rather watch and read traditional comics and animation. So I haven't seen the original source material to compare it to the movie. But I am a huge fan of science fiction and learning that this was such an important sci-fi story, I wanted to see it. Maybe in the future I will compare the anime to the movie but for now this is what I think of the live action movie.
In my opinion this is an 8/10 for a futuristic Science Fiction films where Terminator is a 10/10. Now, I am fairly generous with my ratings so Joe and Mike might give this a 6 or a 7 but it is no where near a 4/10.
The action is insane. Like John Wick meets the Matrix. The CGI is superb! You feel like you are in a modern version of an 80's future movie. Picture Blade Runner and Minority Report merged together. Industrial but clean. Lots of 3D neon signs and huge sky scrappers. Beautiful. And the story is strong! It might be different from the Manga, but I have no clue so it doesn't bother me one bit.
Johanson plays Major, a weapon made of a human brain with a synthetic body. She is kind of like Robocop who was composed of both human and robotic parts. Major's body is fully synthetic however. The only organic part of her is the human brain that was taken from dying girl with no next of kin. She is supposed to be the best of A.I. police technology because she has the abilities of a robot with the logic and compassion of a human. And she is BAD ASS!!!!
The plot centers around her and her team, Section 9, hunting down someone that is killing off members of the company that make the A.I. units. When she finds the individual it is revealed that he is an A.I. like herself. He was an earlier version of the same robot that had flaws and was supposed to be destroyed, but he got away and is now hunting down his creators for taking his memories. He in turn helps Major realize the story she knows about the dying girl with no next of kin, is a lie. And that the company stole her memories so that they can control her better. With this information, Major begins to remember her true origins and remembers that she was an Asian school girl that was kidnapped and put into this Shell that looks like Scarlet Johanson so that nobody would recognize her. (So there is the reason she isn't Asian! Deal with it!) This pretty much pisses her off enough to become a fully sentient.
Now I have watched the trailer for the Anime movie and it looks extremely similar to the film as far as aesthetics go. Major looks like major for the most part. Her partner is almost identical to the man in the movie. The costume that Major wears and the dive off the buildings that she does is exactly the same so besides the fact that Johanson is white and the story is different (not bad) they seem to be somewhat similar.
I would love to hear some feedback from people that have read the Manga or seen the anime movie as well as the live action and tell me what you think and just how wrong I am for liking this movie so much.
Watch this movie!!!