DVD Review: Ghost In The Shell

Scarlett Johansson plays the role of major in this live action adaptation of the Japanese anime phenomenon Ghost In The Shell. The film kicks off with Scarlett’s character being bought back to life, though she struggles despite the best efforts of her Doctor (Juliette Binoche). Her struggles are natural as she is the first in a new evolution of humanity, where Hanka Robotics have taken the brain of a terrorist victim and merged it with a cyborg body. The full consciousness of a human in a fully augmented body. The perfect solider, or so Hanka hopes.

Jump a year forward and Major has obviously learnt how to breath and everything else and is now the lead member of Section 9, the government’s anti terrorist unit. Standing on top of a skyscraper in her body hugging grey bodysuit, Major informs us that she’s going in and her matrix style capabilities kick in.

Of course there is a deeper storyline just waiting to be uncovered, and like in many films, especially those where society seesm to be controlled by major corporations, there is a truth to be found. Major has to learn a bit more before she can start to seek truth and justice though.

Ghost both visually and philosophically reminds me of Blade Runner, with the overpopulated city feeling oppressed by the over-saturation of advertising, and the central characters begging the question of where does technology end and human consciousness begin.

Whilst it can be difficult relating to Major, especially because at times you get the feeling that she’s just Scarlett Johansson’s head delicately placed on top of a cgi body, the storyline and supporting characters are enough to carry you through, and if you don’t know the source material, plenty of surprises along the way.

Of course the biggest thing about the entire experience is the sumptuous visual effects. Ghost In The Shell is a absolute visual feast and deserves to be seen on the biggest TV screen you can find.

Rating: M Science fiction themes, violence & content that may disturb.




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