Originally Published: December 3, 2004
The future is a bleak and lonely place, and the present’s not much better.
That’s the unhappy conclusion Mamoru Oshii, the celebrated anime director and screenwriter, has come to. It’s reflected in his latest film, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, which had the distinction in May of being one of the few animation features ever to compete at the Cannes Film Festival.
Nine years ago Oshii wrote and directed Ghost in the Shell, which offered absolutely astonishing visuals and lots of careening action. It was a modern adult tale of the the a possible future, where with the heroine tears off her clothes two minutes into the movie — Major Kusanagi suggests that this allows her thermoptic camouflage to work — and lots of ponderous musings on what it means to be human, especially when much of you is cyborg, which apparently is where the human race is headed.
The film became a cult hit and inspired other filmmakers, including Wachowski brothers Matrix Series and Quentin Tarantino, who asked Oshii’s studio, Production I.G, to do the animated clip in Kill Bill Vol. 1.
While Ghost 2 also explores the human question, it offers a different set of answers — and perhaps a darker vision of the human race.
Special investigator Batou is looking into a series of grisly murders: Gynoids, female androids, have been killing their owners, some high up in government. When Batou tracks down his first suspect, she attempts to kill herself, with the final words help me on her plaintive lips. He blows her away.
We will be publishing an in-depth review of this film soon. In the mean time, explore our film library for all of our recent and archived REVIEWS HERE. On the search page, just type in the word REVIEW.