There Is So Much Cyber in the First Five Minutes of ‘Ghost in the Shell’
One thing’s for sure about the new Ghost in the Shell movie: There’s gonna be a whole lot of cyber. Cybercrime, cyber-people, there all is cyber. The plot hinges around, among other things, an android with a human mind investigating a string of brain-hacking crimes that leads her to a bunch of realizations about the nature of consciousness and humanity. Ghost in the Shell imagines a world where the line between human and machine is blurred almost to the point of nonexistence, with corporations selling body-augmentation technology amongst colleagues at fancy dinners. That’s where the opening of the movie finds Major, played by Scarlett Johansson, surveilling a corporate meeting that goes terribly wrong.
We’ve seen a lot of this footage in trailers before: Major crashing through the window, those creepy geisha robots that can open up their faces, all of those neat holographic fish encircling the building. It’s a dark but colorful sequence, and seeing it all together looks extremely cool — if you can get past the distracting whitewashing part, which, really, you can’t.
Honestly, the visual aspect of this movie kind of seems like the only thing going for it. Johansson’s Major isn’t a particularly dynamic personality (she’s a robot, so that makes sense, but still), and the action-packed trailers indicate that either it’s keeping its more esoteric plot elements a secret to draw audiences in, or that most of the deep psychological meditations have been taken out of the plot in favor of making it a straight-up action sci-fi. Either way, it seems like Paramount doesn’t really know what to do with it. Background worldbuilding and eye-catching colors are nice for sci-fi, but is it enough?
Ghost in the Shell opens March 31.