Complete A-Z list

Ghost in the Shell (3D)


Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbaek, 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano, Peter Ferdinando, Juliette Binoche, Michael Carmen Pitt, Daniel Henshall

Director: Rupert Sanders

State-of-the future technology, vertiginous overhead camerawork and Johansson's figure in skin-tight plastic and lycra, all compete for our attention in this picturisation of the famous manga comic strip, still set in the Far East.

This is hardly new territory for the star, after Lucy and the 'Avengers' films, but she gives her role the intensity it requires, as Major, a cyber-warrior whose only human component is her brain. But her inventor, Dr Ouelet (Binoche), under the watchful eye of the ruthless Cutter (Ferdinando) has implanted her with a false set of memories to obliterate her past.

Her quarry is a mysterious master cyber-criminal, Kuze (Pitt), who turns out to be a vengeful 'failed' survivor of the programme that engineered Major herself.

Johansson does well to hold her own in a film dominated by its impressive effects, as she strides through a futuristic Hong Kong at the behest of both Cutter and a Chinese overlord (Kitano), who are after the same thing, but likely to be guided by their own ideas, and destined to cross swords before the end.

It's tosh of course, but tosh with some hologrammistic style, impressively flaunted.

David Quinlan

USA/New Zealand/Hong Kong/Canada 2017. UK Distributor: Paramount. Technicolor.
107 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 29 Mar 2017