I overheard someone leaving the theater they didn't like it. Too much focus on personal relations and nothing on philosophy. True, but why was anyone expecting a Hollywood flick to go full-GitS philosophy on its audience? Similarly I know some people were expecting Tachikomas, but did they ever see the first movie? Tachikoma-free. As was this one, so they'll be disappointed, due to their expectations.
Scarlett Johansson was a ridiculous casting for the Major. It's most prominent when she's paired up with Motoko's mother, an actual Japanese woman. But I'm also just kind of sick of her in things which is my main complaint about her. Still the actress not being Japanese is a valid criticism. While one might say the Major is a cyborg and it doesn't matter what she looks like on the outside (indeed she's had multiple designs in the animes), you're ignoring the anti-Western themes of the original material. Anyway my dislike of the lead is something I accounted for going in.
Similarly from the first trailer I watched I expected the story-line to be some combination of the original movie with perhaps elements of the series. (Tachikomas are a fan favorite so why not throw them in to rake in more money? I thought it could always happen technically, but definitely not likely enough to warrant any expectations. I also hoped they wouldn't appear because I hate their English voices.) Sure enough it is an odd mishmash of the original movie and a bit of season 2 of the series. There are many visual scenes from the movie recreated well, but they're of course missing crucial philosophy.
The visuals were nice. I didn't like the Major's synthetic body but whatever.
The music was ok. It's good when it riffs on the original, but when it tries to go its own direction it winds up in bland-ville like so many other techno flicks.
For some reason the Chief only speaks in Japanese, though everyone speaks English to him. Just a reminder of what this movie could have been I guess if it was all Japanese. Coupled with the movie starting with some text to read, I had a brief thought that maybe they'd try to have some philosophical discussions with the Chief and force people to read (which aids understanding). But it was a silly thought.
So overall my expectations were quite low but I thought they were met. It was a pretty good adaption. I could sit through it again in the future.
Posted on 2017-04-03 by Jach