Ghost In The Shell (1996)

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In a future state where cyborgs are commonplace and the population have computerized brain augmentations containing their psyches – or “ghosts” – a team of investigators pursue a cyber-criminal who hacks the minds of others to do his bidding.

One of the cornerstones of Manga and Anime, Ghost In The Shell has obviously influenced a lot of Hollywood sci-fi, and this film has been influenced by them in turn. Coming across as a hotchpotch of ideas in common with The Matrix, Blade Runner and Robocop, this animated film has a lot to commend it visually with excellent animation, inventive visual effects and the backgrounds in particular are beautifully rendered. Unfortunately the director was obviously also in awe of these creations and spends far too much time lingering on them while nothing happens on screen. The storyline is also rather too convoluted considering the comparative simplicity of the core idea of the plot and the dialogue little more than a load of existential waffle about the nature of life.

The action scenes are very well done, especially the climactic duel with the enemy tank but as a whole it feels too much like a technophile’s wet dream where he gets to give his computer a hot bod, slip on some Barry White and introduce it to his own “hard drive”.

5/10

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