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The live-action version of Ghost in the Shell was a movie that struggled to find an audience on the big screen. Now, a new video counts every single reason why. CinemaSins is at it once again telling everything wrong with Scarlett Johansson starring in a movie based on a Japanese anime. Check it out.
Most of the initial criticism of the new Ghost in the Shell was centered around the casting of Scarlett Johansson in a story that originally took place in Japan, and while CinemaSins does deal with those issues a bit, it's much more focused on other ideas, like the fact that the movie seems to fill itself with random future technology for no other reason than to show off digital effects, as most of it is unnecessary to the film. The number of hologram advertisements certainly does feel a little excessive. That sort of thing was cool in Blade Runner but now every movie that does it just looks like it's trying to copy Blade Runner. Surely there's another way that somebody can imagine how commercials will be made in the future.
It's also pointed out that the movie uses a lot of the iconic imagery of the Japanese anime that inspired it, including pulling some scenes directly from the original. However, since the plotline of the live-action version bears almost no resemblance to the original, these scenes feel forced and out of place. It's understandable why the filmmakers would want to include them, as fans of Ghost in the Shell are clearly expected to be a major part of the audience, but unfortunately, the new film simply doesn't do enough with these moments to make them work in the story.
The video does take Ghost in the Shell to task for the way that it tried to explain away the casting of white actors as Japanese characters. The film clearly tries to create a reason that it thinks justifies the decision. Of course, ultimately, the problem is that the film really just creates an excuse, not a reason for the change.
Ghost in the Shell walks away with 126 sins and a sentence of existential crisis. In the end, the real problem with Ghost in the Shell is that it just wasn't a very good movie. It's not nearly as smart as it wants to be and the story doesn't engage the audience, leading to a film that simply moves in between action sequences with dull plot exposition.It's basically not even worth worrying about the white washing issue. If Ghost in the Shell had actually cast an Asian actress, they just would have cast an Asian actress in a bad movie, and that doesn't really help anybody.