HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
Porky’s II: The Next Day
It Happened Here
Giant from the Unknown
211
Top of the Bill
Set It Off
No Way Out
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
Lady Bird
Endless, The
Universal Soldier: The Return
   
 
Newest Articles
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
   
 
  Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Buy this film here.
Year: 2004
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Stars: Akio Ôtsuka, Atsuko Tanaka, Kôichi Yamadera, Tamio Ôki, Yutaka Nakano, Naoto Takenaka, Gou Aoba, Eisuke Asakura, Masaki Terasoma
Genre: Animated, Science Fiction
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell was one of the most successful post-Akira sci-fi anime epics, its mix of dazzling futuristic animation and philosophical concerns providing compelling food for the eyes and brain. Nine years on, Oshii’s sequel ups both factors, but tips the scales too far into the cerebral; the result is a film that frustrates as frequently as it astounds.

It starts well enough. The year is 2032, an era where the boundaries between men and machines have become blurred. Humans are frequently given technological augmentations, of both a physical and mental nature. Once such cyborg is Batô, a tough cop working for the specialist anti-terrorist unit Section 9, and who mourns the loss of his former partner, an android called the Major. Batô has a new partner – the mostly human Togusa – and they have been given the task of investigating a series of apparent murders by a line of sex-androids, robots manufactured for human pleasure.

The first 45 minutes see Oshii really hit his stride. He opens with some gob-smacking visuals – a futuristic cityscape realised through both 3D graphics and traditional drawn animation, and a dazzling credit sequence showing the construction of one of the film’s murderous ‘dolls’. The story unfolds with the balance of old – sure we have a lengthy, eerie scene in which Batô and Togusa interrogate a robot designer about the humanity that exists within her creations, but we also have Batô getting tooled up with some very large guns to knock on a few Yakuza doors.

This is all very Blade Runner of course – with a bit of William Gibson thrown in – but Oshii’s arresting style ensures that this first half is not just another familiar cyberpunk yarn. Much of it is actually very un-anime – the director uses silence and static, held shots on his characters' expressions as much as the expected rapid editing and pounding music, in particular during one surprisingly moving sequence in which Batô comes home after a long day, feeds his devoted cloned dog and sits alone, consumed by deep, dark thoughts.

All of which makes Ghost in the Shell 2’s second half a real let-down. Batô and Togusa’s investigations lead them to a spooky gothic mansion constructed from stained glass where the villain is revealed and ghosts from the past return to haunt our heroes. All the weaker elements of the first half – in particular characters' annoying habit of speaking almost entirely in philosophical and theological quotes – force out the thrills, and it quickly become evident that Oshii wasn’t really that interested in the narrative to begin with. Maybe some will be engaged by the issues he’s asking – most of which are to do with questions of where the ‘soul’ of an individual lies and why humans feel the need to create mechanical versions of themselves – and full credit to the writer/director for taking his film into areas rarely tackled elsewhere in anime. But without a particularly strong story to hang these weightier concerns upon I quickly found my attention wandering. There are brilliant moments throughout – including a clever sequence where the same events are replayed three times with different resolutions – and there is some late-in-the-day climatic gunplay. But for all the brains and visual brilliance of his film, Oshii ultimately fails to reach the heights for which was aiming.

Aka: Inosensu: Kôkaku Kidôtai
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 2807 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
   

 

Last Updated: