This is a Japanese media franchise originally published as a seinen manga series of the same name written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow. The manga, first serialized in 1989 under the subtitle of The Ghost in the Shell, and later published as its own tankōbon volumes by Kodansha, told the story of the fictional counter-cyberterrorist organization Public Security Section 9, led by protagonist Major Motoko Kusanagi, in the mid-21st century of Japan.
Ghost in the Shell premiered in Tokyo on March 16, 2017, and was released in the USA on March 31, 2017.
Let’s face it this movie was going to be underwhelming from the start. Even with the whitewashing and the movie’s Sisyphean effort to try and handwave it away with “She’s Japanese but she’s in a white person’s body.” that still comes off as offensive, it’s a generic revenge story that plays like GitS’ greatest hits and adds nothing new to the franchise. It’s almost like the movie’s trying to remind of much better stories in the franchise I could be watching.
It’s almost akin to Star Trek: Into Darkness except at least in STID’s case didn’t have to whitewash any of the characters and at least the first act had hints of an original story that got dropped the moment they got to Kronos to just redo WoK.
I feel like a lot of movie directors are not fans of the original material, and yet they are tasked with making a movie about it. Oh they might say “I’ve seen the movie, read the books, I’m a fan!”. But it’s like they haven’t spent years with the material like real fans, they probably watched it and read it over a single weekend and then jumped into movie making.
I know that sounds incredibly pretentious and hipster’ish of me to say that. But it seems Hollywood often finds a director that just doesn’t get the nuances of an original story. Then of course they want to put their own spin on it, which may be something they’ve wanted to do, but doesn’t align with the story. “I want a giant spider in the 3rd act!”.
The film you wanted to see, you already saw it as a masterpiece in anime form. Both with the movies and the tv series. The film you really want is a third ghost in the shell anime movie with an original story and more thought provoking philosophical concepts from director Mamoru Oshii.