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With: Akio Otsuka, Atsuko Tanaka, Kouichi Yamadera, Tamio Oki (voices)
Written by: Mamoru Oshii, based on a manga by Shirow Masamune
Directed by: Mamoru Oshii
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and brief language
Language: Japanese with English subtitles
Running Time: 100
Date: 03/06/2004

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Doll Parts

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

For whatever reason, I have never seen the original Ghost in the Shell, and so I'm hoping that helps explain why Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence was so confusing. In the year 2032, a cyborg detective, Batou, begins investigating a gynoid (a female robot created for sexual companionship) who malfunctions and slaughters three people. This investigation leads to much higher levels of corruption. Batou and his human partner enter a building booby-trapped with several different virtual realty scenarios and battle a battalion of half-built girl robots. As written and directed by Mamoru Oshii, Ghost in the Shell 2 is never less than spectacular, seamlessly combining sophisticated hand-drawn animation with computer-rendered backgrounds. It has a cluttered thickness that perhaps helps drive home the film's theme: what does it mean to be human? The dialogue chatters on a bit too much and, frankly, most of the film involves reading the English subtitles. Yet, small moments in the film resonate on a non-machine level, such as an ongoing argument about the type of food Batou feeds his pet dog.

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