Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 2017. Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks, Reliance Entertainment, Shanghai Film Group, Huahua Media, Arad Productions, Steven Paul Production,Amblin Partners,Grosvenor Park Productions, Seaside Entertainment, Weying Galaxy Entertainment. Screenplay by Jamie Moss,William Wheeler, Ehren Kruger, based on the comic The Ghost in The Shell by Masamune Shirow. Cinematography by Jess Hall. Produced by Ari Arad, Avi Arad, Michael Costigan, Steven Paul. Music by Lorne Balfe, Clint Mansell. Production Design by Jan Roelfs. Costume Design by Kurt and Bart. Film Editing by Billy Rich, Neil Smith.
A robotics company has a breakthrough in artificial intelligence technology when the melding of a human brain with an artificial body results in a successful combination (played by Scarlett Johansson), a moral human consciousness with great use as an infallible warrior. After barely surviving the assassination of one of the senior members of her corporation, Johansson finds herself seeking a mysterious villain who seems to have a laundry list of scientists to kill, but where this takes her is deeper into the secrets of her own past. Adapted quite closely from the anime film of the same name, this beautifully shot science-fiction adventure is an easy but unimpressive indulgence, gorgeous in its every neon-hued frame but not exactly brimming with memorable conflicts; I’d love to say that the story of an Asian consciousness being placed in a caucasian shell was a comment on future technological identity politics, but I hesitate to accuse this film of being as thoughtful as it is amusing. Johansson is strangely uninspired and uninspiring in the role, it’s surprising that the actor who pulls off her Avengers and Lucy characters with such impressive ease seems uncomfortable and unsuited to the action heroine role here, and it doesn’t help that her plight isn’t particularly interesting. As a mindless sibling to Blade Runner, however, this is a pleasure to view, with supporting performances by Juliette Binoche and Michael Pitt that are enjoyable spots of brightness.