Well in short, to answer the question, no it’s not that bad. Hi, I’m Dandy Daryl and I’m here to review the live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. Is that too formal of an intro? I’m sorry, I’ve been having trouble writing this review because I keep talking too much about the controversy surrounding it and I get a little nervous I’m going to piss someone off. I guess it can’t really help. I’ll try to keep it short and not go on and on about it. So as you probably know, a lot of people were upset with the casting choice with it being Scarlett Johansson playing the Major, who is a Japanese character. I thought it was strange casting, but I didn’t have too much of a problem with it because she is a cybernetic android. Before I dig my own grave more here, I was also okay with the choice when the original creator said he didn’t have a problem with the movie. I get why people are mad with it being “white-washing” and what not but I still wanted to see the movie before condemning the film just for that fact. With that said, the movie isn’t perfect, I still had plenty of problems with it which is why I wanted to talk about it because I have a lot to say. I also kept thinking to myself “it could have been worse” then I would think back to other anime adaptations COUGH COUGH Dragon Ball Evolution COUGH Last Airbender COUGH COUGH. So yeah it could have been much worse so let’s look at what we did get with Ghost in the Shell.
GHOST IN THE SHELL THOUGHTS
Alright going into the movie itself, the story follows the major who played by Scarlett Jo, is a super soldier cybernetically enhanced with an artificial body. She has a human brain in a body, basically a fake body with a real soul hence the name of Ghost in the Shell. The movie shows a world where technology has gone too far and people are becoming less human, and well machines are becoming more human like. That’s where it’s pretty identical with the original anime movie. I’m pretty sure all the characters from the original movie made an appearance but the similarities stop there where the plot goes a different direction later in the movie. I won’t say what happens to stop myself from spoiling anything but yeah it changed quite a bit which is where I had a problem with it. Before that though I want to talk about the positives so here are the good things about the movie.
GOOD THINGS: Firstly, the movie looks pretty amazing, the visuals are just phenomenal and some of them look like they’re straight out of the anime which is just awesome. The music is also fantastic where I actually want to get the soundtrack after hearing it in the movie. There are tracks that sounded similar to tracks straight from the original movie while plenty of new cyber punk type music. It was just great. Again the visuals were great with these big holograms and buildings as well as the glitching holograms around, it just all looked cool. The acting was alright, nothing to complain about I think the actors did a good job representing their characters. I mean I wouldn’t say perfect casting but the cast did do a good job and yes even Scarlett Jo was good although there were times where she was different from the Major as seen in the anime.
BAD STUFF: That leads me to the bad stuff, there were times where I felt like characters were a little too emotional or just the film in general was emotional which wasn’t ever a point of the original work. The Major acted differently and wasn’t as emotionally distant as the major is in the movie, also not as sarcastic. Also the movie felt the need to explain things a little too much. I get that the original movie was confusing at times but the explaining kind of ruined some things, I mean this movie would explain things that were never explained in the original which was kind of weird to me. There were times where it was interesting because stuff that wasn’t ever seen in Ghost in the Shell but still. Then there was the story where I think the best way to describe it is that the movie was hollywoodised. That’s not a word but that’s the best way to put it, the story was changed where it was pretty cliche. I mean the story as it unfolded in the end and how it was this big mystery being solved in the end it was just a cliche and different. I get that you wouldn’t want the movie to be exactly the same because then it would just be like “Don’t waste your time on this shot for shot remake, just watch the original” so I get it. It’s like how The Walking Dead TV show strays from the comics so there could be more surprises and not be able to read the comics and know every thing. So I get why things would be changed, but just the over explaining of things bothered me. I don’t know it was just sort of weird to me.
I think that’s really all I had for positives and negatives, I mean it was an alright movie, I liked the visuals, music, and even some of the action was cool which goes with the visuals I guess. I mean there was a part at the end that I was waiting for the entire movie where when it happened I actually yelled “yes!” So there was that. Something that I looked forward to and got so that was cool. Just the changes to the story kind of fell flat. It’s funny I’m reviewing this after watching the DVD that came out yesterday, but it’s probably not relevant anymore. A lot of people were ranting about it before and a little bit after it came out in theaters. Oh well I was wanting to watch it so I did and despite everything I’m glad I saw it. That’s it for the review.
So now we have the live action movie of Death Note coming out to Netflix in August. I’m honestly looking forward to that just because Dafoe was perfect casting for Ryuk and after seeing the anime I can now watch that movie when it comes out and complain about it with everyone else. All seriousness though, I don’t think it looks that bad and I am going to watch it before judging it. I do get why people are mad with it because the characters aren’t who they should be and I’m not talking about Light Turner instead of Yagami. I’m talking about Light appearing to not be as smart and just a completely different character, and L is more angry and not as calm as he should be. Again I’m going to hold my tongue before casting judgment because I am excited to see Ryuk and all that. Anyway that’s a different topic, well I guess it’s the same topic because popular anime gets US live action movie treatment. We’ll see though.
So right now I am currently waiting til I have to go into work for orientation. I’m kind of stressed out about it because I feel like I’ve gotten used to doing nothing but at least I’ll be working again, having stuff to do and getting paid and so forth. It’s not til Friday so for now I’m sitting around playing games on steam and all that good stuff. I have a game I played through that I’m ready to review here soon so there’s that. Alright I’m done talking, thanks for reading all that if you did and goodbye for now!