Ghost in the Shell (12A)

Ghost in the Shell tells the story of a cyborg with a soul.

Set in a dystopian future where our reliance on AI is increasing by the minute we meet Major (Scarlett Johansson). Major is the first of her kind: A human saved from death and cyber-enhanced to become the perfect soldier, devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals.

We first meet Major in the opening credits as she transforms from a metallic skeleton into a fully-functioning AI. Think Terminator, but good. It’s got an almost Westworld feel to it.

Terrorism has reached the point where it’s possible to hack into people’s minds and control them. Major is the perfect person to stop them in their tracks. She has the intellect of a highly advanced human and the strength of a robotic machine. However, as she prepares to take on her new enemy, fragments of her past start to emerge.

Major begins to have flashbacks from a past she has never had any recollection of. So, the leader embarks on a ruthless mission to uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice. It’s not going to be any easy path to take. Heartache and destruction lay in front of her. But how can she carry on not knowing who she is?

The fate of AI hangs in the balance as Major acts out her vengeful plot. Will good prevail? There’s only one way to find out…

There’s been a great deal of controversy around Johansson playing the lead role and speculations around whitewashing. But when you compare the Japanese manga by Shirow Masamune, “Ghost in the Shell” to the movie, there’s no real difference. Johansson is merely playing a role she fits, end of.

By Ruth Walker

★★★★☆

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