SPOILER FREE !!!
Yes, I know. This movie is a 42% on Rotten Tomatoes… And you would not even bother to go to the theater to watch it. I do this sometimes since I often pick the movies I want to watch based on two things: the trailer and the rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Yet I really have to say this to anyone who hasnt watch it: please give Ghost in the Shell a try!
I watched the anime film few years back and I love it, but I didnt watch the TV series or even the manga. So if you are a die hard fan for this Japanese franchise, please bare with me while I talk about my reasons of why the Hollywood adaptation actually did not disappoint me.
Even before the trailer was released, this film already got criticized by people with two reasons: the white-washing of Hollywood films and the choice of director. People were furious due to the casting of Scarlett Johansson as being a Asian protagonist. I can see why people are angry since Hollywood has been accused of white-washing characters for a period of time, but I have to say she is the perfect choice. Her acting in this film is great, and the titled of her head and also her style of walking as a robot in the film really give this persona a sense of confidence. Since she does a lot of action movies such as the black widow in The Avengers and also another action flick Lucy, her body language and composition in fight scenes are nearly perfect. You can tell she really did put a lot of effort to make Major a strong character. I was very iffy about the choice of director Rupert Sander when I know he directed this film, but it solely based on the fact that I did not like Snow white and the Huntsman. However,Ghost in the Shell in my opinion earned back some of his reputation.
The details in the character design and the building of the city are just visually stunning. I was glad to see that every frame by frame that this film adapted from the 1995 anime version were bought to live and was done so beautifully. You can watch from this link to see almost everything you see on set are handmade and painted by artists, and they really put a lot of effort to visually create a futuristic world when human beings and robots can combine and become one. I was very intrigued by the design of the city due to its similarity with the world of Blade Runner, yet it still looks jaw-dropping nonetheless.
Of course there are still obvious flaws such as weaker dialogue and scenes that may not be perfect, but I do not think simple dialogues in this film should take away credits from the visuals ,the cinematography, and the acting. It is really hard to remake a complex anime when viewers has their own interpretation on the philosophical questions contains in the anime, since the anime itself does leave a lot of room for viewers and fans to think about those questions rather than providing answers. The adaptation of this classic may seem unoriginal due to audience in the United States may already seen the movies that took the inspiration from this anime first (The Matrix and irobot) instead of watching the one that inspired all. I think people have to stand back and actually not compare the 1995 anime with this film and just watch this Hollywood film alone, and you would agree with me that the practical effects and the hardwork of the whole film production team deserve more recognition than just a low score on Rotton Tomatoes.