‘Ghost In the Shell’ Fails Beloved Japanese Franchise

Scarlett Johansson’s Stilted Delivery of Dumb Dialogue Never Rings True

We’re supposed to believe that somewhere beneath the shiny, computer-generated exterior of fembot Major Motoko Kusanagi (Scarlett Johansson) swims the soul of her former self, full of the love and angst us humans cherish and lament. We’re not buying it. Johansson’s stilted delivery of mostly dumb dialogue never rings true, and Ghost in the Shell only grazes the tough concepts of primalism and individuality in the hyper-digital age that the source manga series and its 1995 animated film so adeptly explored. And let’s not forget the film industry sin of shamelessly whitewashing a beloved Japanese franchise. The only glints of proper sci-fi fun come from the seemingly evil plottings of reject android Hideo Kuze (Michael Pitt) and cityscapes full of Blade Runner-esque neon and grime. Still, better to rent the original.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Gaviota Coast Matriarch Passes Away

Singer Elizabeth Hvolboll held a trove of Refugio region memories.

Both Sides Draw Blood in Dario Pini Trial

The courtroom drama opened with questions about who should have control over how many properties.

Pair of F-22s Buzz Santa Barbara City College

Turbulence rattles windows and nerves on Monday morning.

Mandatory Evacuation Called for Fire Zones in Santa Barbara County

Heavy rains expected Tuesday-Thursday; debris flows feared.

Cannabis Farmer Gets Over $1 Million Insurance Payout

Thomas Fire ash destroys crop; analysis finds asbestos, lead, arsenic, and magnesium.