Masamune Shirow has fans across the world, and there are people like me who have seen the 1995 British-Japanese film of the same name were really excited to watch Major Motoko Kusanagi eliminate baddies faster than you can say Scarlett Johannson. But are the baddies really so bad? Why does Major begin to question orders? The trouble with this film is that though the setting of the film is fabulous, the story, too laden with meanings and motives falls short in explanations. The philosophy just fails. The 1995 film is still a benchmark.
The trouble with attempting a cinematic take on classic cult anime film is that the fans will never like it, and the newbies find most ideas outlandish. Niihama Prefecture in this movie is just as you imagined it in anime but cooler… But it takes too long to establish the team members and their loyalties to Chief Aramaki. However, you are glad that Dr Ouelet is played by Juliette Binoche and Major Motoko Kusanagi is Scarlett Johannson…
The idea that some day, corporations can hack into your mind and take undue advantage does not come through clearly. You see how technology has saved the Major’s brain by inserting it in a super-enhanced body trained for combat. You see the moral dilemma faced by the Major when glitches intrude her thought patterns.
And you are familiar with the concept of glitches because you have seen The Matrix and Keanu Reeves discovers a whole new world when he explores the glitches, the anomalies in the Matrix.
You sigh in a small disappointment that there is not enough hidden. Kuzo the shadowy leader of the new network spills the beans on his reasons for killing the scientists at Section 9 (where Major works) rather quickly. Major’s fighting skills are not really showcased although her fight in the nightclub was super cool.
The world will always be divided between, ‘This is a rubbish movie, there were too many weird things happening’ and ‘The anime film was better!’. I happen to fall between the two categories because I am huge fan of the series and even though the film has many shortcomings in the telling of the tale, it does not stray too far from the original source.