Everything about Major, the new superwoman, is a
cocktail. “My brain’s human but my body is manufactured,” says she, the
She’s Japanese and has slant-eyed make-up, but a pair
of firm knockers that stand out in a skin-toned, figure-hugging bodysuit is
Director Rupert Sanders thus makes the best of both
bows Oriental style to the1995anime film based on the manga series by setting his
film somewhere in the exotic East. But he takes a Hollywood heroine to play the
Japanese superwoman. Her new lab-created avatar is a universally acceptable
Mira but she was originally Motoko Kusanagi, a true blue Japanese. And she
functions under the command of Aramaki played by Japanese actor Takeshi Kitano.
So say ‘hello’ to this new crime-fighter created in a
spiffy Eastern city.Sparkling skyscrapers with monster-size advertisements make
their own statement about its commercial vibe. Here’s where Major is born and turned
into the ultimate weapon.
In her introductory outing, Major fights a huge
conspiracy of identity theft and finds her real Japanese mother thanks to small
bits of original memory still embedded in her brain. The action is practically
non-stop and it’s done with spectacular sophistication.But ultimately, it’s
standard ‘franchisable’ cinema, so Major will be back.
Combining the best of human and robot skills, Scarlett
Johansson as Major is in familiar superhero territory after her Black Widow
turn in Avengers.Unlike the severe black suit of most superwomen that
plays down their sensuality, Major struts her stuff in an engaging way that surprisingly
doesn’t distract from her kickass action. And Scarlett does what she has to
without major changes in her facial expressions that an all-out human would be
privileged to use. Her male partner played by Danish actor Pilou Asbaek is also
quite incredible for making his concern for Major subtly evident even with his
metallic eyes.Juliette Binoche marks her presence in a brief but
sympathetically important role.
For an action film that makes an interesting mix of
the East and the West, Ghost In The Shell gets a 3* rating.
Journalist & Author