Scarlett Johansson cuts a striking figure as a human-cyborg hybrid who dives off skyscrapers and scraps with bad guys in this sleek sci-fi thriller.
After a terrible accident, she’s revived by a robotics corporation, Hanka, her human brain (‘ghost’) kitted out with an enhanced synthetic body (‘shell’).
Now she’s a warrior for the government’s anti-terror unit, but when she goes into action against the mysterious hacker who is killing Hanka scientists, she comes to question her own memories and identity.
Director Rupert Sanders borrows considerably from the 1995 Japanese anime original (based on a cult Manga series), copying some scenes shot for shot. He also owes a big debt to Blade Runner for the look of his film’s dystopian metropolis setting, with the giant floating holograms that drift between the city’s towers clearly inspired by the flying screens in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic.
Sanders’ movie may not quite be in that league, its quasi-philosophical musings on what it means to be human more show than substance, but the action is a blast.
Johansson is fabulous, too, and she gets great support from Pilou Asbæk, Juliette Binoche and Japanese icon ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano.