Watched GHOST IN THE SHELL:
Visually done very well.
Story is a bit run-of-the-mill. Boiling down to a plot of personal revenge which doesn’t exist in the original material. If you go in “cold” you will get the feelings the images (a lot of which are lifted from the original anime) allude to a more complex movie that isn’t there.
And you’d be right.
The film attempts to lift key storylines from a number of key episodes from GITS: Stand Alone Complex that touch on the origins of the Major, and then uses other material from the OVA’s Puppet Master plot.
However, in the combination of both, the writers shook out the complexity and transhumanist questions of either, settling on a Luddite plot that is played for a footnote and comes up extremely late, and a personal “A giant coroporation stole my life!” motivation that provides the only fuel for the Major facing off against a giant Spider Tank.
The Luddite sub-plot is a case in point where GITS the story is betrayed by GITS the images. A key character mentions that the Luddites had warned about how Technology would ruin our lives. Yet the film is chockful of mind-computing cybernetic citizens using all this stuff as part of “common everyday life” indicating this Luddite movement completely failed or was totally in-the-wrong seeing as even the garbage truck drivers use mind-comms.
In the OVA anime, the thought that someone may have figured out how to hack “ghosts” even of people who have less complex enhancements forms the meat of the concerns (and the existential/transhumanist questions). It also poses the danger that any form of “everyday computing” in this version of the future now carries the risk of being a victim of the Puppet Master. However in this adaptation they choose not to expound on this further except for the Major, yet they use the same criminal modus for the Puppet Master’s hacking crimes that were given more prominence in the OVA.
It’s this kind of dissonance that ultimately keeps the live action adaptation too grounded in concept when visually it is already reaching for something more.
A missed opportunity mostly.