I MOURN Harry Dean Stanton who eight weeks ago died aged 91, after a 200-title acting career beginning with an uncredited part in a 1956 B-Western. In this, his penultimate role (a supporting role in […]
THE look of director Rupert Sanders’ futurist sci-fi actioner-thriller, based on a comic book by Masamune Shirow adapted by Jamie Moss, may well evoke memories of “Blade Runner” (1982) among older fans of those genres.
The plot is rather more in tune with current scientific ambition. Already there is news about implanting micro-transmitters in human brains. For what purpose we may only conjecture.
Shirow’s story proposes that, having installed the brain of a young woman killed in a car crash into a cyborg (a being with organic and biomechatronic body parts), the government intends to send her to rid the world of terrorists. Scarlett Johansson plays Major, seen more often than not wearing a second-skin-like garment giving an impression of nudity. Major personifies moral virtues, physical courage and emotional strength. She’ll need those qualities as she and side-kick Batou (Danish actor Pilou Asbæk) go after cyborg terrorists.
I like how Major’s boss Aramaki (Takeshi Kitano) eventually shows how to kill a cyborg. The Colt .45 revolver, the gun that won the West, still has a place in future battles against evil.
The film gives Major a reason to question the ethical issue of acquiring the necessary body parts. Dr Ouelet (Juliette Binoche) confesses that Major is the first of 99 attempts to succeed in connecting a brain to a machine that actually works.
Providing a denouement justifying the whole thing in the name of entertainment, meet Cutter (Peter Ferdinando), the irritant in this film’s good-versus-evil escapist drama. Many films have told that story. Where this ranks among them, I neither know nor care. If I wasn’t reviewing it, I wouldn’t have chosen to see it. But I don’t regret having done so.
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