Our review of the haunting 12-minute preview of Ghost in the Shell
And so it begins. Tonight, audiences were given a twelve minute preview of the new sci-fi feature GHOST IN THE SHELL. Directed by Rupert Sanders and starring Scarlett Johansson, the film is a live action take on the 1995 animated film and it appears that we may be in for a treat. At least that’s what I’m hoping. And judging from the footage that we just enjoyed, I have a good feeling that this ghost will be one worth going on a haunt with. From the birth of “The Major” - Ms. Johansson’s character - to an intense attack on a group of very bad men looking to cause some damage, there is a slight familiarity in the world that Sanders has created.
So what exactly did we see? It all begins with the creation of The Major. What starts as a robotic “shell” soon goes through the process of creating Scarlett. This sequence only lasts a few minutes, but it is an impressive one. The insertion of the brain, the design of the shell, and the final drop into a liquid substance is all quite beautiful. After what you can call the “shelling sequence” with a marvelously spacey score, we see the finished product. It also appears that Sanders has tried very hard to recreate The Major’s birth as close to the 1995 animated film as possible.
After she has been created, The Major wakes up strapped to a hospital bed. Dr. Ouelet (Juliette Binoche) stands over her attempting to comfort the newly restored Major. However, there is more than just a little question about the intentions of the good doctor. This is especially true after Ouelet discusses the latest prototype with a mysterious man as they watch The Major through a one-way mirror. Something sure seems rotten in Cleveland with this dude.
Finally, we see that Scarlett has fully taken on this character. High above a city that is reminiscent of BLADE RUNNER and DARK CITY, she stands watching the world below. Buildings are stacked close to each other, there are numerous holograms advertising various products, and a cold and bleak world that is perfectly suited for this futuristic tale. While she is on watch, we discover that a very dangerous meeting is taking place. It doesn’t take long to see The Major in her full glory. Wearing a while skin tight body suit, she lets herself literally fall right into the action. And keep an eye out for one of the creepiest robotic geishas you will ever witness - you can get a taste of all of this in the trailer.
Visually speaking there is much to be impressed by. Sure twelve minutes can’t tell you a whole lot, but it appears that the filmmakers have really tried to do justice to the franchise. From The Major’s appearance to the hustle and bustle of the futuristic city, there is much to admire in the look of the film. When she comes crashing through a window and the shards of glass explode around her, there is a definite energy that is on-screen.
One of my favorite aspects of the footage was the score itself - not the same as the temp music in the clip below. To be fair, I don’t think what we heard tonight was a temp score. The music that appeared in the film is quite hypnotic. And if this is what we can expect from composer Clint Mansell, we may have a very cool soundtrack to purchase. In fact, while we were waiting for the footage they had the soundtrack playing. Suffice it to say, I am looking forward to picking it up. With the visuals mixed with the music, and of course the incredible presence of Scarlett Johansson, I can honestly say I’m looking forward to this mysterious flick.
What do you think? Did you catch the footage? How closely will they follow the source material? From the looks of it, they have stayed mostly true to it. GHOST IN THE SHELL opens on March 31, 2017.
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