Ghost in the Shell Review by Sir Kent

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The Ghost in Shell review by Sir Kent!

See more reviews by Sir Kent at Sir Kent Said Film Reviews

Sir Kent Rating 6/10

Sir Kent dives into the controversial film Ghost in the Shell, a movie that he bought.  Will he ignore the controversy of the film?  Heck no this is Sir Kent he is going to plunge right into the thick of that thing like Achilles into Troy.

Ghost in the Shell Trailer:

I know what you're all saying. “Sir Kent, the millisecond you found out that they were casting Scarlett Johansson in this life-action adaptation of GHOST IN THE SHELL, you threw shade at it like a muthuf'beepa! How you gonna turn around and buy it?” Well kids, let me tell you a little story that will dictate the narrative of this review, okay? Now sit back, shut the f'beep up and enjoy that sippy cup. Once loooong ago, there was this gigantically popular movie franchise called THE MATRIX.

It's not a largely known fact but, this groundbreaking, vision of the Matrix very nearly did not get made. All because of the all white, ol’ school boys club in Hollywood. You see boys and girls, that entire franchise was mostly shot in Australia. Where, because of the large Aboriginal population, colors can run from your typical white to your very dark-skinned, blonde haired blue eyed people. After having people read for and even turn down the role of Morpheus, the Wachowski Brothers settled on Laurence Fishburne.

Only when they took that decision back to Warner Brothers, they were told “You know, there are a LOT of Black people in roles of command in this movie. We would like you to find another person to play the role of Morpheus.” They looked at each other and said “WHAT THE ENTIRE F'BEEP?!?! We've had others read for it, we've had people turn it down. We LIKE Fishburne and if we don't get him, you cock-suckers dont get the movie!” The rest is cinematic and box-office history. YES! In 1999, the all white, ol’ school boys club very nearly white-washed and possibly killed one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time! Just because of a Black dude! Now fast forward to 2015.

The original Manga GHOST IN THE SHELL was a masterpiece that told of a future where mankind had all but given itself to technology in an attempt to better himself physically and advance himself mentally. Of course, such a hubris driven pursuit gave way to a whole new wave of crimes, focusing on the cybernetics and computer basis that drove this latest obsession. A special unit was formed to combat this. Section 9 was Japan's version of a tactical division on America's NSA. They used advanced surveillance, mostly via enhanced individuals, plus a tactical unit lead by The Major to try and enforce large scale cyber crimes.
While Major in a synthetic body in the Manga her look was based off a Japanese woman which made sense as it takes place in Niihama a fictional Japanese City.  The whole story has a Japanese cultural aesthetic.

This is why the casting issue is so glaring.  The film still takes place in Niihama, it still is very Japanese looking everywhere.  The people are still Japanese.  The film in many places is like a real exact duplicate of the images in the anime/manga.......but the race is changed of the characters.  Now if ......if they reset the film in a fictional NYC and did a more full reimagining of the film then the race change may not seem bad.  That is not the case here though.

That’s the short of the story behind the original Anime and Manga version of Ghost in the Shell. Unfortunately, director Rupert Sanders, who’s most notable claim to fame is SNOW WHITE and THE HUNTSMAN somehow missed the mark on all of this. I think before I get into the rest of this movie, I should address the elephant in the room. Casting Scar-Jo in the lead role of a Japanese Manga Based movie was not only a HUGE mistake on DREAMWORKS behalf but, Scar-Jo’s as well. SERIOUSLY did you need the money THAT BAD? PLUS, couldnt you refuse and recommend a Japanese actress for the role? Here are a list of three that would have been perfect for the role know...are actually Japanese!

@Chiaki Kuriyama. Go-Go from KILL BILL #1

@Koyuki She played Taka from THE LAST SAMURAI

@Meisa Kuroki I don't know who she is but, she's a Japanese actress and model and she HOT!

That's kinda the point, because of whitewashing and the Ol’ White Boys Club, we may never get to know any of these amazing actors and that's f'beeped up! Other problems I had with this movie was Batou played by Pilou Asbaek. While he fit the role (Dude actually LOOKED like Batou) he didn't get enough time to showcase what he’s all about. Batou is a BRUTE! He would never carry a standard issue weapon and has NO IDEA of the word “Overkill”. He has a history of literally punching holes through people!

Even though he wasn't the star, I would have liked to have seen more of that. The great Takeshi Kitano played the role of Aramaki to perfection. He looked and carried himself exactly like his character but even that performance was ruined by the fact that he spoke Japanese the ENTIRE movie and NO ONE ELSE DID??? WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ABOUT?!?! Chin Han playing Togusa was great because once again, he actually LOOKED like his character.

Danusia Samal played Ladriya...wait...WHO? WHY was she even IN this f'BEEPin’ movie? You cast a white girl in a Japanese role and suddenly decide “Hey, we need another chick in the cast”??? I truly loved Michael Pitt as Kuze the main antagonist of the movie but not necessarily the villain. He was simply lashing out for what had been done to him.

No THAT muthuf'BBEPin’ Main Villain award goes to Cutter played by Peter Ferinando. He is a billionaire industrialist who has set up shop in Japan because it happens to be on the cutting edge of cybernetic enhancements. Because of his wealth and job creation, some government officials have turned a blind eye to the means to which he goes gathering his “Volunteers” for his experiments. He has been snatching “Disposable” youth from the street and The Major and Kuze, at one time, WERE those disposable youth. This answers the question of WHY The Major looks like a white girl.   Cutter and his ego have an image of what his perfect weapon should look like, and it aint Japanese. Dude, seeing doesn't that kind of pour some salt in the wound! Right about now, I know all of you are thinking “WELL F"BEEP DUDE! If it sucked THIS much ass, why did you buy it?!?!” Well before you toss your sippys at me, I have some good reasons.

First, I love this story and 2nd because of the set and some of the scenes. The city itself was a living breathing supporting cast member and an absolute BEAUTY to behold in 4K.  Thats right this film, for all of its distractions also has some amazing scenes.

If any of you are old enough to remember the original BLADE RUNNER 1982, this city is like that but WAY better done because of the advances made in technology since. Plus, there are several scenes in the movie that are PICTURE PERFECT to the original Manga. Like when The Major is chasing down that guy wearing Therm-Optic camouflage or the grave site where her human body was buried. There is another one where there is this jet liner flying overhead that is EXACTLY like it was in the original movie. There were moments in this film where I sat back and forgot about the other stuff, and smiled and said ok thats cool.

All in all, I can only give this movie a 6 out of 10. Which is generous since ROTTEN TOMATOES gave 45% and an audience rating of 57%.

I think they honestly could have given it an hour more to flesh out more of the characters. The fight scenes could have been WAY better and like I said CASTING, CASTING, CASTING! I CANNOT recommend this as a buy but a very drunk, rental. I would VERY MUCH recommend you BUY the original and its follow up featuring my boy Batou.

Thoughts on the Trailer by Sir Kent

Sir Kent is a guest Blogger at Toylab and one of our resident film critics.
For more reviews by Sir Kent see:
Sir Kent Said Film Reviews

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