A Calm, Collected Look at the New Ghost in the Shell

Before I launch into this review, I want to wrap up my feelings on Ghost in the Shell (GITS) in its entirety. I love the 1995 GITS. I’m so acustomed to spinoffs, sequels, and trilogies being terrible that I assumed everything after the first movie would suck. I was wrong about every last one (Even GITS2). Every instinct was 100% wrong. Each new entry into the GITS was valuable—the story, the atmosphere, and world building all added onto the initial movie. I will treasure every entry because I can tell how much care went into making sure each final product was as perfect as possible. Feel free to read all my reviews (GITS, GITS: Stand Alone Complex, GITS: 2nd Gig, GITS 2: Innocence, GITS Solid State Society, and GITS: Arise).

I wanted to be disappointed first.

I attended an advanced screening on Wednesday for Ghost in the Shell. Five minutes in, I was already so p*ssed that I couldn’t see anything but the changes. I rushed home and wrote 1400 words on why this movie sucked (Note: Viewster articles max out at 500). But anger never lasts. And heads always cool. So, on Thursday night, I went back.

I know this movie should be viewed as an alternate reality, but this movie took source material from three separate GITS properties (GITS, GITS2, and 2nd Gig); therefore, I’m grading this movie based on two criteria:

  1. Would this get someone interested in the anime?
  2. Apart from changes that needed to be made, was this a loyal adaptation of the anime it was based on?

(Am I a hypocrite for reviewing the entirety of the GITS anime catalog without once mentioning how closely it follows the manga? You bet your ass. Moving on!)

1.

The crazy thing is, I think this would get people interested in the anime. There were two young kids and their dads sitting behind me. By sheer luck, their dads asked them what they thought. One said 9/10. The other said 10/10. The dads both thought it was a 7/10.

That has to translate to something, doesn’t it? Hell, when I was their age, I watched every Val Kilmer movie I could get my hands on because he was Batman. These kids may check out Ghost in the Shell because of this movie. And that’s a shame because…

2.

This is a god-awful adaptation. Charlie Sheen is more loyal to sobriety. If someone watched this movie and then watched ANY of the source materials, they’d see glaring inaccuracies for the main characters, the main character’s motivations, and the stories themselves. I walked into Thursday’s screening with a cooler head and still found myself cursing at the screen. If you’re a fan of GITS, don’t see this.

The movie did manage to do two things right. It does the Spider Tank hatch-ripping scene from the original, and it is f*cking awesome. What’s the other thing? Oh yeah…

NO TACHIKOMAS!!!!

3/10

Save your money and watch Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex for free here on Viewster.

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