Watching Ghost in the Shell last weekend with a friend was an experience.
Driving back and forth between his house and the theater twice was interesting.
Once we got in, found out seat and got comfortable, the realization that we were about to watch a film adaptation of one the greatest anime of our generation finally set in.

This film has been generating so much buzz, both good and bad. From the casting choice of the Major, to the changes to the story.

So being very concerned about how the movie would be received, I decided to watch it opening weekend and form an opinion out myself.

So, if you have watched anything from the Ghost in the Shell universe, from the original 2 films, to Stand Alone Complex, you know that the question of extentialism is a massive thing, to how we view ourselves as humans, and the advancement of technology.

Without delving into spoilers heavily, I’ll try to explain my pros and cons of the film as easily as I possibly can.

The visual presentation of the film is definitely gorgeous, albeit a bit overused if you’ve seen any past cyberpunk themed film in the last decade or so, with tall futuristic buildings with holographic advertisements.

The score felt a bit uninspiring due to the use of electronic music, and heavy use of MIDI sounds, reminded me more of Blade Runner, than the world that Shirow Masamune envisioned.

The story was translated well from it’s Japanese origins however, doing a simpler twist on the Major’s origins, whereas the films and series didn’t even touch on the matter. Starting with the extremely visually and important Making of a Cyborg opening was honestly the strongest part of the entire film, aside from Beat Takeshi Kitano as Section 9’s leader Aramaki’s phenomenal acting. It also does a great job in each character interaction being a meaningful one, with the Major and Batou having to open up to each other and show that regardless of whether they were synthetic or organic, their minds were definitely that of a human.

One thing that was very underwhelming was the antagonists. At first we think that the main focused antagonist is a force to be reckoned with, elusive and dangerous, with a motivation stronger than revenge, then halfway it feels that it gets swept under the rug by an antagonist that we knew was a bad guy, but becomes too cliched immediately.

It does close extremely strong however, with the iconic fight against the Spider Tank, so that’s a positive.

Overall, while everyone knew it wasn’t going to be the ultimate anime adaptation that the filmmakers were extremely ambitious about it being, it wasn’t an absolute trainwreck.

Perhaps if I were to view it once more, I would maybe catch what others enjoyed about it, otherwise I would have to say it is a 5/10. Not a terrible movie, but also not a great one either.