In Review: Ghost in the Shell

Major is the first of her kind: a human mind inside an artificial body.

Synopsis: Major is the first of her kind: a human mind inside an artificial body. Discovering her creators lied about her past life to control her. Major will stop at nothing to unravel the mystery of her true identity and exact revenge.

Review: Recently released on DVD, Blu Ray and VOD. Ghost in the Shell is an interesting movie, which mixes the Frankenstein story with a more trans-humanist style of narrative.

Based on the animated Manga series, which was created by Shirow Masamune. 

This feature adaptation pretty much tries to stay true to the source material and for most part does a pretty good job in doing so. Even though some of the more philosophical elements from the Manga books and cartoons are dumbed down somewhat.

Scarlett Johansson is excellent as Major and provides a real sense of what it must be like to try and find ones true self while you are sold a lie. 

The supporting cast does a great job and we get a few nice character beats and moments. A fun moment being Batou and his love of dogs. A moment that he shares with Major who turns out to be more of a cat person as he so correctly observes.

The visuals are outstanding. I especially enjoyed the cloaking effect we saw as Major and her team would seem to appear gradually out of thin air.

My one complaint though was the music. While the films narrative and futuristic setting required that it be mostly a synth type of soundtrack. I just found it to be rather samey all the way through and it made the film drag a little for me.

Understandably. It would have been wrong to have applied an orchestral soundtrack to this film because it would not have worked. But it would have been great had the composer involved in scoring this had taken a few more chances with the soundtrack instead of giving us a score, which very much felt like it was by the numbers.

Overall: This was a decent attempt at adapting the story for a Western audience and is a fairly good jumping on point, which hopefully will get new fans to check out some of the original animated Manga films.

If anything. This film is a strong case for Marvel to pull their fingers out of their butts and give Scarlett Johansson  a shot at a stand alone ‘Black Widow’ movie. 

Ghost in the Shell
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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