Ghost in the Shell bleeds the nostalgia of complex science fiction experiences such as The Matrix. Chances are if it’s your first time watching it, you won’t exactly be in tune with everything the film has to offer. In the near future, Earth is dominated by technology (surprise). Computers rule everything that get us anywhere, and cyborgs easily blend in with real humans. Enter Major Motoko Kusanagi (Atsuko Tanaka), a special police cyborg who was designed for a special branch of the Japanese government. However, Kusanagi soon must cope with The Puppet Master, a highly wanted pro-hacker.
Where many science fiction stories fail, Ghost in the Shell passes. The story is complex and original. The imaginative technology and setting throw it above a regular contemporary piece and make it seem chillingly real. The characters aren’t exactly the most complex you’ll see on the planet, but that’s because this is more story based than anything else.
The complexity really must be admired. Nothing is ever as it seems. Once you think you’ve got the Puppet Master figured out, you soon realize how wrong you are about everything. The further we dive in, the more haunting things become, and we realize that this just feels like so much more than disjointed ideas thrown into an animated sequence; this is something that could actually happen if we so foolishly let ourselves get out of hand with our technology.
The visuals are stunning. Even today, this movie is still quite beautiful. The invisible fight scene is…well, bitchin’. The action is often gory, and there is quite a lot of nudity throughout. The odd Puppet Master is probably the character that will stick with you the most throughout. Kusanagi may be one badass mother, but the Puppet Master is just flat out bizarre.
If you haven’t already seen this movie, do it. Movies like this one preceded films such as The Matrix and were just as complex as the time. I hate to keep making that comparison, but Ghost in the Shell really is quite similar to The Matrix with it’s awesome science fiction setting. Although it may not be as complex and is easily too short for its own good, it still comes off as a must-see for any science fiction fan.