Film of the day: Ghost in the Shell

Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell

It might not capture the haunting, though-provoking power of Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 masterpiece, but this big-budget, live-action remake of the classic Japanese animation is still well worth a look.

A slick sci-fi thriller with striking visual style, it stars Scarlett Johansson as Major, who, for those not up on their manga/mid-90s anime, is the prize asset/golden girl of a crack government task force committed to bringing down cyber-criminals. With a human brain successfully transplanted into an entirely synthetic body she’s (supposedly) the first of her kind, and Johansson does a fine job of communicating her escalating identity crisis.

The action sequences also definitely deliver the goods – particularly the iconic rooftop dive and a frenetic Yakuza club brawl.

Stars Scarlett Johansson, Michael Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han, Juliette Binoche, Takeshi Kitano. Directed by Rupert Sanders

Ghost in the Shell from Friday 26 January on Sky Cinema Premiere and Sky Cinema on demand.