I knew I was quite excited about this most recent adaptation of «Ghost in the Shell». But until today, I didn’t really know why that was.
When I first watched the anime from 1995 I did it because I was still blown away by «Akira» and just wanted more of this kind of movies. By that time, «Ghost in the Shell» already had gotten the label of a cult classic. But I remember that after seeing it, I was a little bit disappointed (but it’s still one of the very few VHS tapes I didn’t get rid of). I never completely understood the plot and I’ve been wanting to rewatch it again, but never took the time to actually do it, maybe because I just wasn’t too impressed by its visuals – compared to «Akira», that was.
Well, the current adaptation surely doesn’t have that problem: Thanks to its presentation I’d go as far as to state that «Ghost in the Shell» is not only a good remake, but even superior to the original. I even like what they did to the plot that was streamlined (as far as I can tell, because this time around, I understood what was going on).
Even before the anime’s original soundtrack finally echoed over the end credits, the last iconic shots of the Major (Scarlett «will you marry me» Johansson) had almost moved me to tears because visually, this adaptation of «Ghost in the Shell» works great by going back to the «original» imagery and reviving it with current CGI work and beautiful production design, making it shiny, while keeping it very stylish, cool – even cold – staying very close to the original’s look and feel.
Though characters and plot are solid, they’re not too original or spectacular. But I think that has always been the problem with «Ghost in the Shell». The very intriguing premise never really leads anywhere, because it doesn’t leave much left to explore, being too fundamental for its own good. But nonetheless the deep questions about humanity, technology and consciousness are powerful enough to hold the visual spectacle together as a whole.
Sometimes, combined with Scarlett Johansson, who really wears her role like a suit – a very tight suit – that’s enough for me (and I really dig her cyborg-walk).