If you follow any entertainment websites, you’ve probably heard many complaints about “white washing”. Basically, this means that roles that are meant to be played by minorities are being given to white actors. Of all the movies and TV shows being criticized for this, none of them can hold a candle to the negativity surrounding the live action version of Ghost in the Shell. The original Japanese TV series, books and movies are some of the most beloved media in the world. It makes sense that people would be weary of an Americanized version, but are their concerns validated?
In the future, tech has been developed that allows human brains to be implanted into cybernetic shells. This allows the human/robot hybrid to have the skills of a cyborg while maintaining human emotions and memories. Major (Johansson), the most successful experiment to date, works to take down the worst criminals and enhanced humans. During one mission, she discovers that she has possibly put he trust in the wrong people. With her partner Batou (Asbæk) at her side, Major attempts to seek out the truth.
No modern day action heroine brings more to the screen (and looks better doing it) than Scarlett Johnsson. No matter what she is asked to do, she goes for it and doesn’t stop. Think of her as the female Tom Cruise. She has proven once again that she is worth every penny in her paycheck, and this movie is hers to carry and hers alone. That being said however, at times this movie can be overly convoluted. Like me, if you are unfamiliar with the source material you may find yourself lost at times.
I did enjoy much of the film, but that’s as first timer. People with more knowledge of the Manga may feel different. As for the whole “white-washing”, I think its just something for people to whine about. Race should have no bearing on whether the movie is any good or not. Watch the movie and draw your own conclusions from there.
FINAL REVIEW: C+