~ Spoiler Free Movie Review: “Ghost in the Shell” ~
Set in the future where robotic enhancements are now the norm, a perfect soldier is born: a human brain inside a cyborg body. Major Mira Killian is the future of the human race, but she years to learn about her haunting past.
I want to start this review off by saying that I have never seen the source material or any of its related source materials.
I watched this movie with my cousin and leaving the theater he said, “This was a movie set in Hong Kong pretending to be Japan speaking English.” I thought what he said carried some truth and humor, so I wanted to share it with you. The group of people I watched it with all thought the background was very well done, but it lacked action and depth. The whole big reveal was disappointing since one can easily guess from the beginning ,so I don’t understand why it was dragged out for so long. It was never a secret, and during the scenes where the main character was searching for this obvious truth, I felt compelled to sleep. Overall, it was an alright-ish movie, but it’s not worth watching it in theater and especially not worth paying 3D price. The character development was weak, the plot was too simple, and it lacked impactful AI/robot action. Also, the whitewashing was extremely strong. The only redeeming part is the beautiful visuals. My cousins wife said that they would make some awesome wedding backdrop photos. Pretty much, what I am saying is – save your money for another movie.
WHITEWASHING (Possible Spoilers)
I think most people went into this movie knowing its controversy surrounding whitewashing. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to watch this movie especially after hearing how Scarlett Johansson’s features were going to be CGI to be more ‘Asian’. The idea was eventually dropped but it still left an extremely sour taste in my mouth. If my cousin didn’t have discounted tickets, I would not have gone. After watching it, I became extremely disappointed with the movie. So, the robot human who is the next superior being which the entire human race hopes to become has to be turned white and even its failed test run was turned white. What does this mean? Also, the movie’s eventual excuse for whitewashing (which is the same excuse always) is that this is the ‘westernized’ version. First off, there is nothing western about the background or setting. How did they westernized this film beside casting white people? Secondly, if the setting is now a diverse western world, why are almost all the main characters white and not all races represented? Thirdly, of course, the Asian actor with the most on screen time is the sole person who does not speak English. Isn’t this trying to perpetuate the ‘forever foreigner myth’ of non-white people in the West? Oh gosh, I can go on and on with my points and questions, but I’ll end it here and let you make up your own mind about the whitewashing in this film. Some people may think this is a non-issue, but I am not one of them. I agree that it might not be the utmost important, but to me, whitewashing is a real problem.