In Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Sustainable War, Section 9, led by Major Kusanagi, reunites once again to face a major threat posed to human survival by the much powerful post-humans.
After the Global Simultaneous Default, the world was pushed into a worldwide economic crisis. It led to civil wars across all nations.
Amidst this, the members of Section 9, a former Japanese government unit consisting of cyborg humans fitted with cyberbrains, have thrived as a mercenary group called GHOST working for private military companies.
They are soon approached by the American John Smith from NSA who force them on a mission to capture a high-profile individual called Patrick Huge. But the guy proves to be a challenge for the GHOST as he turns out to be something else than previously assumed.
Just as Major Kusanagi’s team of cyborgs neutralise the lethal Patrick Huge, former Section 9 chief Daisuke Aramaki appears with an executive order and takes control back of the team from John Smith.
However, to everyone’s surprise, John Smith reveals the true danger humanity collectively faces now. Patrick Huge belong to a group of individuals called post-humans who possess unimaginable computing power and can hack into any system with their potential.
Patrick Huge was only one of the few post-humans who were traced. Things get tenser when people with cyberbrains start getting murdered randomly everywhere.
But the situation gets only more puzzling for the reunited Section 9 as the conspiracy behind the emergence of post-humans turns out to be bigger than anybody had thought previously.
Major Kusanagi and her team are now responsible to tackle the first threat that humanity has faced as a whole; the post-humans.
Being a recut of the series’ season 1, the film successfully establishes the world and quickly covers all the major events with an adequate explanation for everything. It does feel overwhelming sometimes, but the detailed world-building and layered storytelling are to blame for it.
The world of Ghost in the Shell has a character of its own which leaves its touch on the story. The story employs mystery to create a haunting sensation evoking further believability in the seriousness of the conflict being faced.
The story is layered and attempts to explore many themes. The eventual dystopia which humans stand to face if technology is allowed to take over forms the central one. Justice, freedom, and the utility of war are all explored in a limited sense.
The visuals look cool and aesthetically pleasing with decent action sequences to get the adrenaline going. The fun think bots known as Tachikomas make up for the cuteness in the otherwise harsh and dystopian nature of Ghost in the Shell’s world.
The recut faces the obvious criticisms that can be targeted at a recut of a full-fledged series.
The exposition is definitely weak at first. It takes some time initially to make sense of what’s happening. The lack of character building and characterization is another obvious criticism.
Another major downfall is the rushed nature of the cut which makes it less palatable. It’s not a completely satisfying experience and makes one doubt whether the goal was to only provide a recap for the upcoming season.
On other occasions, the overwhelming level of details being bombarded doesn’t make it any easier to consume the capsuled story presented in the film.
The film helps establish the world to new viewers who might be interested in the upcoming season 2 by covering the major plot points and important characters.
It does fall short on a definitive experience and makes you wish you should have gone for the series instead. It’s a good introduction to the world of Ghost in the Shell but that’s about where the rope ends. If experience overweighs time in terms of priorities, it’s recommended to go for the series for a more defined experience. The film might work just fine, too.