"Ghost in the Shell"

Opened: April 1996

Inevitably "Ghost in the Shell" will be compared to "Akira," arguably the best animee film ever made. Normally those kind of comparisons would be trite because "Akira" is legend, but "Ghost" is different.

The animation here is at least as good as "Akira," and it's obvious from the opening credits where their priorities were as weapon design has a credit of it's own.

As these movies have a tendency to toss philosophy around, it must be said that the blatant soliloquies, clearly designed to add some poignancy to the doomish cybernetic future, don't do much good if the depth isn't reflected in the rest of the film.

The speeches come out of nowhere and seem to be there solely to sum up the filmmakers' point since they didn't get it across with the rest of the film. As the first one, some prattling on about the human soul, drew to a close I said "thank you" cynically aloud and received a round of applause.

That being said, "Ghost in the Shell" is a raucous ride through a semi-cyber future that rivals "Brazil" in it's mood creation and conspiracy weaving and bests many Stallone movies in it's action.

It's the ideal movie for animee virgins, and will be a hit with the medium's hardcore fans, too.

©1996 All Rights Reserved.

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