madunkieg: The Fool from the tarot deck (Default)
[personal profile] madunkieg
I'm a fan of the Ghost in the Shell (GitS) series. Not a superfan, but a fan nonetheless. Thus, I decided to go out and see the movie, despite poor reviews and claims of whitewashing. I can tell you that it earned those poor reviews. The costuming was fantastic, but the cgi was terrible. The movie wasn't whitewashed too much, but the plot was a lazy response to Blade Runner, declaring that memories don't matter. I find that laziness unforgivable.

Blade Runner explored how memories, especially long-term ones, influence our identity. Almost every time GitS had an opportunity to contemplate that issue, it was resolved with an violence, which is almost never a good sign. Let me show you how with a comparison between the 2016 American movie and the Japanese version from 1995.

Both featured a garbage truck driver who had false memories of a family implanted. He shows the other fellow a photograph that he claims is of his family, but actually isn't. He's made the ultimate patsy. The 1995 movie had him act as a proxy hacker of high level officials, running programs through the terminals along his route, but thinking he was doing something much more innocent. He's soon caught. The 1995 movie also left him alive, having to live with the realization that all his memories were replaced. You can empathize with him because he's a victim.

The 2016 version made him into a warrior with guns blazing away at the Major. Not only does this action not make sense given the memories he was given, but he got remotely taken over again during the interrogation and committed suicide despite having no reason to do so. Perhaps the 2016 version didn't want memories to matter, but why bring them up in the first place? I could go on for quite a while about this one sequence, but you get the gist of my argument. Those sorts of inconsistencies are what I hope to minimize in my own game designs.

As for the 1995 movie, violence was never used to resolve intellectual arguments. The same with Blade Runner. For that reason, and the boring nature of the action in this movie, I'd recommend skipping the 2016 version of Ghost in the Shell.
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madunkieg: The Fool from the tarot deck (Default)
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