In the year 2032, Batô, a cyborg detective for the anti-terrorist unit Public Security Section 9, investigates the case of a female robot--one created solely for sexual pleasure--who slaughtered her owner.
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Batô is a living cyborg. His whole body, even his arms and legs, are entirely man-made. What only remains are traces of his brain and the memories of a woman. In an era when the boundary between humans and machines has become infinitely vague, Humans have forgotten that they are humans. This is the debauchery of the lonesome ghost of a man, who nevertheless seeks to retain humanity. Innocence... Is what life is. Written by
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Narrow, dark stairs. What's the program?
We take turns, I'll lead.
No, I'll lead. You're so damned big, I can't cover you!
[walks up the stairs, hereby forcing the lead]
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Visually Stunning, Brain Recommended But Not Required
On the same page, this movie is called both "Intellectually Weak," and "In love with its own intelligence" by different IMDb users. Clearly, that alone makes this film worth your time and worth forming your own opinion about.
The thing is, this is not a stupid film by any means. 'Visually stunning,' it is constantly called, but it's not just that: It's an assault on the senses (in a good way), both visually and aurally. The sound is incredible, the images stick with you. Even a simple, seemingly underthought image like the final two shots of the movie will stick with you long after the closing credits roll.
But how is the story? I haven't seen the original in years, but this one held my attention, and kept my brain engaged. I remember not liking the first one when I first saw it (too many scenes of nothing moving, while we listened to voice-over), but I give this one an enthusiastic thumbs up, plus a wink and a smile. It FEELS like the middle chapter in a story... there is too much left unresolved, and while seeing the first one isn't necessary to understanding this one, there ARE many references the original "Ghost in the Shell." It's not so much a continuation of the story, as it is a continuation of the characters. Which I think is the better call.
Constant quotes from literature is not a sign of intellectual weakness, I don't think. People accuse the movie of not having a brain of its own, but I think any movie that engages the brain of its audience needn't make apologies. This one remains interesting on all levels; I just hope it doesn't take them another nine years to produce part three.
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