Latest posts by Edward Ellsworth (see all)
- I’ll Be In My Trailer: Kong: Skull Island is the Feel Good Comedy of the Year! - 7th March 2017
- I’ll Be In My Trailer: Beauty and the Beast Serves Up Stale Urinal Cake - 7th February 2017
- I’ll Be In My Trailer: Cars 3 Depicts a Dystopian Future Populated by Driverless Cars - 16th January 2017
I’ll Be In My Trailer is an ongoing series where I review a film before it is released, based entirely on the trailer. For this edition I’ll be looking at the upcoming live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell.
Ghost in the Shell, a well-known and much loved Japanese media franchise, has finally made its way to mainstream America with this live action adaptation from Dreamworks. The film stars Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg whose body was almost completely replaced after she was nearly killed in some kind of accident. Now Major works for law enforcement, often without her clothes on.
Major can’t remember anything about her life before the accident but she is certain about one thing: she used to be Japanese and now she looks like Scarlett Johansson. The plot revolves around her quest to discover her forgotten past and unravel the mystery of her altered ethnicity.
Ghost in the Shell takes place in a distant future Japanese city yet one can easily see the American sensibilities of the filmmakers seeping into the plot. For instance, a large part of the film’s conflict involves the dilemmas presented by a truly post racial world. How can politicians successfully pander to racial voting blocs? How can marketing companies target consumers based on racial stereotypes? How can Hollywood casting directors pick actors and actresses to match the racial makeup of their target audience?
As Major is sleuthing around Japan trying to recover her memory, society in the United States approaches total collapse. Oppressors no longer know who to oppress. The oppressed no longer know how to effectively organize into groups based on racial identity. Hate groups no longer know who to hate. Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!
Ghost in the Shell is a cerebral meditation on the meaning of identity in a postmodern world where consciousness can be digitized and race is no longer fixed. It also has Scarlett Johansson in a skinsuit. If you find either of those appealing this is the movie for you.