Hollywood, I get it. You are running really low on ideas so you are now copying Japan’s homework and changing bits. I understand that, but not only are you changing the parts that made films like the original Ghost in the Shell cinematic gold, but it seems like you don’t even understand them.
I’m not getting into the whole whitewashing angle because that has been all I have heard about this film since the announcement, it has been talked about so much that I would just be repeating what you have probably read multiple times.
My issue is that this film looks terrible.
It almost feels like they have copied and pasted certain iconic moment from the series, yet without the spark the original had. Partly because we have seen it before, and also the effects aren’t as impressive in this live action format compared to animation. It is a watered down version that is lacking elements that made the original work.
I could list off the faults I have spotted from the trailers, but then this article would be way too long. I’ll just discuss my biggest bugbear instead. This film looks nothing like Ghost in the Shell.
It looks more like Blade Runner rather than Ghost in the Shell. The over the top “futuristic” setting is lazy and, for lack of a better term, tacky. The original took place in an almost timeless setting which isn’t distracting like the new version, that will become dated extremely fast. The story seems to be taking more of a SciFi action route than a story about what makes us human and the nature of the human psyche.
Funnily enough, it seems like this was a trend in Japanese films around the time. For example, Perfect Blue. Another anime film that came out two years later that discussed similar themes. If you haven’t seen it, watch it before Hollywood makes a lame adaptation. Oh wait, they kinda did, it’s called Black Swan.
Frankly, outside of my earlier joke about running out of ideas, I don’t really understand why this film was even made. It looks like an awkward mess created because you wanted to appeal to both long-time fans and the mainstream movie audience, yet you managed to put off a decent amount of people. Many fans don’t want to see it because of the changes and thanks to that whitewashing controversy a lot of moviegoers might avoid this film.
All in all, I am not wasting my money on a lacklustre movie when I have a copy of superior version here at home. Not to mention that live action adaptations of anime and anime films tend to be mediocre if not horrifyingly bad, and I am not talking about just western adaptations either. Japanese live action adaptations aren’t exactly swimming in praise from anime fans either.
I’ll stick to the original if it is all the same to you.