Welcome to the world of Scar-Jo and Hollywood Manga adaptations. We’ve put together a handful of reviews for Ghost in the Shell and while the news isn’t all bad, it’s not all great either.
Enjoy the roundup.
GAMESPOT did not rate this movie
Excerpt: Even though Ghost in the Shell does things well--its stylized take on the original’s sci-fi, its often well-choreographed action, its exciting pace--it doesn’t accomplish the main thing it intends to. The movie not only doesn’t answer or even truly explore the questions it raises, it also mishandles a story about identity by largely excluding the people it’s about. That’s a critical failure, and one that cannot be rectified by cool-looking geisha robots.
DEN OF GEEK Scored it 2 out of 5
Excerpt: I doubt it can be understated just how visually spectacular Rupert Sanders’ Ghost in the Shell really is at times. Pulling from a beloved manga and anime, the film is crafted with maximum showmanship by Hollywood alchemists. In its ominous and overbearing neon lights, Ghost offers a digitized future that looks like it takes place several decades after 1982’s Blade Runner, with the next generation being the children of what happened when everyone did like Harrison Ford and got busy with toasters.
IGN Scored it a 6.8 "Okay"
Excerpt: As an adaptation of an iconic and beloved source material, Ghost in the Shell understands what makes this franchise special and does a good job translating that to the big screen. It looks great and doesn't feel like it's just copying the anime and manga's aesthetic, instead capturing what makes them stand apart to begin with. The story stumbles in the third act and doesn't fully bring its talking points to a satisfying conclusion, but Ghost in the Shell's successes outshadow its problems.
SCREENRANT Scored it a 2.5 out of 5 "Fairly Good"
Excerpt: Whereas the original Ghost in the Shell manga and animated movie were trend-setters for the sci-fi/cyberpunk sub genre, the live-action film adaptation struggles with its efforts to balance homage with innovation and falls short of standing out as something equally distinct, in the modern pop cultural landscape. Some steadfast fans of the Ghost in the Shell property and/or those who haven’t been exposed to this franchise before now, might gain more traction with the movie – since, as mentioned, it is visually slick and touches on the same fascinating ideas as its predecessors. For other fans, however, Ghost in the Shell will prove be the shiny, yet hollow and “white-washed” Hollywood version of the franchise that they were concerned it would be.
VARIETY did not rate this movie
Excerpt: Cinematographer Jess Hall and an army of cartwheeling VFX artists render this universe in the glossiest, glassiest strokes possible. Perhaps the only ones holding back are composers Clint Mansell and Lorne Balfe, whose stylish, techno-ominous score is mostly content to skulk in the background, only daring to reference Kenji Kawai’s unshakeable theme for the 1995 film over the closing credits. It’s perhaps the one area where this otherwise exhilarating re-imagination could have dared to plunder its source a little more greedily.
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