The Anime Ghost in the Shell from 1995 cost around $10 million. The shinny new Hollywood version cost around $110 million. It was not money well spent.
American movie goers, for the most part, like the Aristotelian model of story telling. That is to say, a beginning, a middle, and an end. Anime doesn’t always follow that model. The anime Ghost in the Shell seemed like a bunch of random scenes stitched together. The anime Ghost in the Shell was a 90 minutes long, verses the 120 minutes of the American version. The Japanese movie was filled with odd little scenes that did nothing. A shot of a street. A shot of some water. Lingering shots where nothing seems to happen. And yet, the original is so much better than this remake.
For one thing, the graphics were toned down to a childish level to get a PG13 rating. The anime version is a bit of a gore fest. But that’s a minor gripe at best. The real crime is what they did to the story. They pretty much tossed it out the window and made up something that would allow them to steal the more iconic images from the original without bringing over any of the awe and wonder.
Ghost in the Shell tells the story of a woman who dies and has her brain put in an android body. She works for Sector 9, along with a few other android like humans. They discover that some strange force is hacking scientists from a robotics company. Turns out our hero isn’t the first person to have a human brain put in an android body.
Cue chases, gun fights, and things blowing up.
Like all the other recent remakes, the best course of action would have been to never remake Ghost in the Shell in the first place.