'Ghost In The Shell' Has To Face Whitewashing Criticism At Box Office

Tomas Mccoy
April 3, 2017

Scarlett Johansson, star of The Avengers, Her, and Under The Skin, is back in this trailer for her new film. They have layers with complex questions of good versus evil.

Somehow, though, Ghost in the Shell doesn't feel purely derivative - it's updated Blade Runner's oh-so-80s mix of rain, steam and neon into something more that feels more contemporary, with bright splashes of comic book-y color that nearly overwhelm the screen.

In a sharper, more subversive script, "Ghost in the Shell" could be about the festishization of Western culture and destructive white standards of beauty, but "Ghost in the Shell" is not that movie.

Decades from now, when Scarlett Johansson is getting lifetime achievement awards, snippets of her in a bad wig as Major will pop into her career montage as comic relief.

Major and her take-no-prisoners, fiercely loyal partner Batou (Pilou Asbaek, who co-starred with Johansson in "Lucy"), are on the hunt for a hacker-villain named Kuze (Michael Pitt), who has been systematically eliminating the doctors and scientists that helped create Major - and has the ability to get inside Major's mind. Yet, as true to the original movie as some of the visuals and action sequences are, they also feel tediously familiar and unremarkable. Essentially, everything that happens in the film could be viewed as an origin story, akin to James Bond's first out as 007 in Casino Royale, meaning, this could just be the beginning. Oddly, the live action remake of the anime classic GHOST IN THE SHELL, based on the Japanese manga of the same name, recreates several scenes, sometimes shot-for-shot and keeps some of the same characters.


"As the film develops, though, and as she understands more about who she is as a human, she starts to become a bit more human". A mono-cultural city just doesn't make sense in science fiction anymore.

In the near future, Major (Scarlett Johansson) is the first of her kind: a human who has been cyber-enhanced to create a flawless soldier devoted to stopping the world's most risky criminals. Without getting into too many spoilery details, it is eventually revealed that The Major, who can not remember her life before becoming a brain in a synthetic body, was actually a young Japanese woman whose identity was effectively erased.

Overall, Ghost in the Shell is one hell of a good-looking film.

Between her speech at the Women's March and her mocking impression of Ivanka Trump on SNL earlier this month, it would seem Scarlett Johansson is becoming more comfortable expressing an opinion on DC politics in public.

The studio defense of Johansson's casting amounts to a weak tap dance around the truth: she's a big star who looks the part and they think she'll combine butts with seats. "It's not the pristine future that we sometimes imagine".

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