"The Future Looks Bleak"
A Review of "Ghost in the Shell" by Nathan H. Box
Starring: Scarlett Johannson, Pilou Asbaek, Takeshi Kitano, Director: Rupert Sanders, Writer: Jamie Moss (Screenplay)
The future is now. Robots are replacing our workforce. Artificial intelligence is no longer just a buzzword. It is real life. It is behind Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Soon, we will have the option to make enhancements to our bodies but it won't just be plastic surgery. It will be mechanical, electronic, and AI enhancements. We will become science fiction. As progress marches forward, we will live with new facts and realities.
If this future looks anything like "Ghost in the Shell," then it looks pretty bleak. Based on Shirow Masamune's comic book, the movie focuses on Major played by Scarlett Johannson. Her brain has been removed from her body and placed inside of a body built to be a cyber-enhanced soldier. Now, as property of the government, she fights some of the world's worst criminals. If this seems farfetched, Google "head transplant" and read in awe about an Italian neurosurgeon who will be attempting to remove a person's head, brain, nerves, and connecting tissue and attaching it to another body later this year. Then think to yourself, robots aren't that far off.
This film opens and features some of the most graphically hypnotizing images I have ever seen in a movie. In every direction you look, there seems to be something to catch your gaze and focus your attention. I can't think of another movie that blended computer animated graphics and real images so seamlessly. For the first ten minutes of the film, I believed I was in the future and enthralled by the possibilities.
Then I realized, this film and the source material is meant to be a frightening vision of our future. As organic beings are blended with machines, something tragic happens to us. We begin to lose our humanity. We are reduced to lines of code this is encrypted from ourselves and the world we were made to cherish. We lose our chance to emotionally connect with one another. We come across as cold and calculating. In fact, for much of this movie, I struggled to emotionally connect with Johannson's character. She is void of emotion and the inquisitive nature I cherish in my fellow human beings. Luckily for me, the story was fresh, succinct, and developed enough to keep me engaged.
Long after the credits rolled, my mind was fixated on the ethical dilemmas that will arise as we crawl closer to this new dawn. If this movie meant to be more than just a futuristic action thriller but instead wanted the audience to consider these big questions then I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Be good to each other,