What is a soul exactly? Is it a manifestation of our being that exists only in ourselves? Our individuality that is constantly adapting to our surroundings? A spirit that manifests our bodies? Or perhaps all of these but neither one at the same time? If at this point you're thinking "Is Razor starting to get philosophical on us?", that 's not the case. I ask these questions because despite the valiant effort of this live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, the movie doesn't tackle any of these questions nor any of the themes from the anime films or the original novel. Much like the earlier iterations of Masamune Shirow's cyberpunk manga work, Ghost in the Shell takes place in the future where the line between man and machine is becoming synonymous; cybernetic parts have become a new alternative for humans who wish to enhance themselves or replace parts of their bodies. Mira Killian, also known as the Major (Scarlett Johansson), works for an anti-terrorist group called Section 9 and thwarts a terrorist attack on a Hanka business conference. During the skirmish, she comes across a warning by an unknown being called Kuze (Michael Pitt) whose history has a mysterious tie to Killian's past, specifically who she really was before she became the Major. If there's one thing this live-action adaptation gets right, it's the look and feel of its' anime counterpart; the visual aesthetics really pop and is a wonder to behold. Although the filmmakers perfectly replicate the style, sadly they don't do the same for the film's story. If you're familiar with the original 1995 film, then there's a lot you'll recognize here in the film; the themes of individuality transcendence, the condition of consciousnesses and how the advancements of technology affects future philosophy, which are a huge part of Ghost in the Shell's mythos, is hardly mentioned in this film. I can understand that these subjects tend to go over a moviegoer's head if their only interest in seeing this film is to watch something blow up with colorful explosions, which is sadly the case with similar films. The biggest casualty though is the depiction of the Major. Any fan can contest that the complexity of her character is not only a strength for the series but plays an important part of the Ghost in the Shell universe. This film treats the Major more or less like an automated drone and lacks any real development for her character. Normally, I would overlook shortcomings such as this but considering she already had a background in the original source that could've been put to good use here, it's inexcusable. The movie does its' damnedest to downsize the story for the audience to corroborate a more cogent plot but it ends up only making it feel hollow for sacrificing its' major strength. There have been much, much worse live-action adaptations of anime properties and Ghost in the Shell falls somewhere between "meh" and "alright" and while this ghost's revival was short-lived, it was still interesting nonetheless. Fans may be mildly pleased with the film while others should look at the original classic instead.