Ghost in the Shell is a huge let-down

Posted on 31 March 2017

I haven’t been this disappointed since Episode 1. Thankfully there’s no Jar-Jar but the live-action version of “Ghost in the Shell” misses all of the philosophy and depth of the original. And the whitewashing…good God. I won’t give any spoilers but they seem to have taken bits from the 1995 original, tossed in a bit of Innocence, shaken and stirred with some of the Stand Alone Complex characters (mixing Project 2501 — renamed to Project 2571, for some reason — with Kuze from SAC: 2nd Gig). I don’t understand why they didn’t just go with the original idea of Project 2501 being an American AI program that gained sentience and is now seeking asylum in a robot/cyborg body. And the original Kuze was trying to get refugees to leave their corporeal bodies behind to join their souls/minds in cyberspace. There was so much wasted opportunity; you can almost hear the dropped plotlines thud as they hit the cutting-room floor.

They never explored Togusa’s lack of cybernetic enhancement and why the Major wants a human on the team.

Saito gets a brief nod but no backstory.

They did get the actor choices right for Batou, Togusa, and Chief Aramaki, though. And Batou has a basset hound (a nod to “Innocence” and Momoru Oshii’s need to insert basset hounds in nearly all of his films).

I was already setting my expectations low knowing that a lot of the scenes from the original GitS film were copied (almost verbatim) in The Matrix and any copycat sci-fi film made since 1995. But they didn’t quite do justice to the original source material, either. “The entire film takes a dump on every cool, intriguing, and subtle concept in the 1995 film.

So yeah…

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