Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Alt title: Koukaku Kidoutai 2: Innocence

Movie (1 ep x 101 min)
2004
4.113 out of 5 from 14,259 votes
Rank #1,086

In a dystopic city of the future, there has been a rash of killings at the hands of prototype robots. These anomalies from the company Locus Solus are making headlines, and have caught the attention of the cyborg Batou and the crew of the Section 9 special forces. Yet beneath the random violence, a sinister plot is unfolding -- a situation so dangerous that it threatens not only Batou, but innocent humans and cyborgs alike. Can the team of Section 9 unravel the mystery of these murders before they suffer the same fate as the victims?

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Reviews

sothis
6

StoryStory? What story? Although there is a thinly veiled plot that admittedly does have a bit of a twist, Innocence is essentially devoid of ANY sort of plot at all. Let’s face it folks, this movie wasn’t made to challenge your mind or open your horizons to anything. It wasn’t supposed to make you ooh and aah at the character development, or get involved in the storyline; it was made for the visuals, signed, sealed, and delivered. Period. To be honest, I was fairly disappointed with how completely lacking the plot was. In the beginning, you have a faint glimmer of hope that a plot exists – the robots are killing people, and Section 9 needs to find out why. Until the last 5 minutes of the movie, we see almost zero in the way of plot, at all. And I swear to god, if I have to read one more goddamn quote from a poem or famous philosopher, I am going to shoot myself in the head. That’s part of the problem with this movie... besides being a complete fanboy film, it tries to insert 8 million quotes from poems in a row, in an attempt to make you guess at some sort of philosophical theme going on. I’m sorry, I don’t buy it, and it made me incredibly bored and weary. Honestly, if you watch this, probably the best way would be without any sort of subtitles, since they are essentially useless and do nothing except make you want to smash your TV/Monitor/Movie screen in with a hammer, shove ham sandwiches inside the broken vessel and then pee on it out of sheer "OH MY GOD NOT ANOTHER QUOTE" spasms. Quite frankly, I could have picked up a poetry book and read random pages and it would have been as applicable as all the quoting nonsense in this film. The concept of beating a dead horse must not exist for Mamoro Oshii, that’s my only guess. Anyways, zero plot. Zip. Zilch. Except the one brief interjection of something frail and weak (poor excuse for a story), nothing to see here. What sucks is that cyborgs are my favorite topic of all time, just ask anyone who has seen my tattoos... heh. I am fascinated with the idea of human minds being put into machine bodies, or people hacking others’ minds, etc. That’s one reason why I was so excited to see the original Ghost in the Shell movie. Alas, that movie was also disappointing, but hell, it still had more of a plot than this! And of course, it didn’t have the grab bag of quotations to try to fool the audience into thinking there was a deeper meaning. *Sigh*. I really did have high hopes for this, and I wish with the subject material, that it would have been used better and had a more engaging feel to it. AnimationIf anyone was to watch this movie and not give a perfect score for the visuals, I would call them a liar and then throw them in a pit of giant squid. Seriously, the visuals were flawless and deserve nothing less than a 10. And hey, the visuals HAD to be good, since there was virtually no story, right? CG was seamlessly blended with cel shaded animation, producing some of the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever seen in an anime. The straight CG looked so real I thought I was watching a movie, and I could have been. Many times I was reminded of playing the Resident Evil 1 remake on the gamecube, with how dark the moody the scenes were. Other times, I felt like I was watching an FMV from a Final Fantasy game. Birds entertwined with buildings with ease, figures danced fluidly, doors opened realistically. It’s virtually impossible to name all the fascinating visual treats in the film, you just have to see it to know for sure. Colors used were radiant and fitting, usually darker tones for the cyberpunk feel. This was contrasted with the aseptic white of the rooms where the cyborg bodies were. The cyborg designs themselves were beautiful and my favorite part, since I’m such a big fan of cyborgs. The inhuman cold expressions were chilling, and helped you to understand one of the points of the film: what is human, and what is robot? Where is the line drawn? I could talk for another few paragraphs about the animation, but I shouldn’t have to. Flawless. SoundI truly believe this movie was made only for the visuals and the audio, hence the high score here as well. Any fans of the previous movie will recognize the nasal whines in the audio. I really expected it to break out any second with the title track of the first movie, and that would have been cool, but didn’t happen. The songs that were played instead were just as good, and haunting. Lots of Japanese sounding instruments, keyboard synths, and overall goodness. Beautiful music all the way around. Voice acting was very appropriate (I watched the Japanese version). CharactersI don’t even know why I’m giving this a 1, I must be in a generous mood. Characters? What characters? Batou is the only focal character, and he is not developed at all. We know a little about him from the first movie (or TV series), but nothing else is explained at all. All the secondary characters are shallow and flat, and we don’t even necessarily remember who is who because they are all generic. Zero character development, and also no set roles for the characters, which means I can’t even score it decently for that. The dog is the most interesting character of all, but he’s just a dog, and is barely on screen! This movie did such a poor job with the characters, and I can’t see how anyone could argue with that. OverallThis was a really hard score to give, because there are two such different factors to take into consideration. The audio and visuals were a masterpiece, there’s no denying that. On the other hand, I can’t in good conscience give something a high rating if I thought it was so terrible otherwise. This was one of the hardest movies I’ve had to make myself finish, because it was SO boring and so empty besides the visuals, and the quotes were driving me insane! I’m fine with watching an eye candy piece, but not if it’s two hours long. Either shorten it, or give it something of substance. So, I’ll give GITS Innocence a reluctant 6, because you probably should watch this for the visuals. Seriously though, if you want a good plot, watch Paranoia Agent, Interlude, or another intelligent series. If you want eye candy, watch this. Just don’t expect it to be fantastic, or anything other than a fanboy film for those who blindly like GITS, or people who for some reason like to hear 95,000 quotes in a row and pretend like it was a plot. One word: overrated. I hope if there’s a Ghost in the Shell 3, it finally does something the others haven’t: succeeded in being something other than pretty scenes.

chaoserver
3

First of all, if you are not a big GITS fan, turn back now, this is not a movie for you!   Story: Innocence is bad. I watched it back to back with the original GITS movie, which is longer, but felt like it was over in an hour. Innocence however dragged on endlessly. It's pacing is the absolute worst, and as the mediocre story pans out we are forced to endure a needless torrent of quotes that in such quantity, eventually become redundant. The only points this gets is for the scene of Batou's home, which was done well, but can hardly be considered story. Discussing the plot further would be an insult to my own intelligence, as it ultimately gives up and after wasting time on a lengthy set up, never delivers on anything. Animation: Probably the best. And I mean the best I've seen, easily. It's a huge shame that this falls in the look-great-but-suck category, because the blend of cg and animation is perfect. Almost all this anime's score is thanks to this. Sound: Pretty average, but this is mainly opinion, I'm sure the score would be higher if I had more appreciation for the track this anime profusely pops up. Regardless, the audio if anything distracts from the atrocious excuse for a plot. Characters: The only points here are for the slight development of Batou, or at least the attention they give to his personal life are acceptable but short lived and serve absolutely no purpose. Other than that, few characters are mentioned and none developed. Overall: This is the hardest anime movie I have ever had to get through, and if you look at my other reviews I have seen some pretty slow stuff. It is boring, painfully so, the entire way through. I hate to say it but I felt a weight off my shoulders as the difficult ordeal of reaching the other side of the hour and forty minute long movie. Check out Batou's home scene, which really should have been in the tv series, and maybe skim through the film for the great visuals, but if you are seeking anything to the quality of the rest of GITS you will be sorely dissapointed.

AverageJoseph
6

"Life and death come and go like marionettes dancing on a table. Once their strings are cut, they easily crumble." ~ Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence ~ Filled with puzzling quotes, this one being crystal clear - No ties, no goals, no control, no purpose. An apt phrase written on the walls of a lunatic ex-hacker's home. As a sequel with a deep and frighteningly thought provoking storyline, GITS2:I is best viewed with the experience of viewing (and understanding) the first Masamune Shirow film, because while it could work as a stand alone film, there are several references, returning characters and themes that are best grasped beforehand.  "When dialog fails, it's time for violence" (Story) Those familiar with the original film from 1995 will be fairly better off interpreting the story here, as Batou, a beast of a heavily machine augmented man, struts about his police unit with his new partner, Togusa, often taking the law into his own hands when he deems fit. Even when troubling crimes arise, his attitude stays largely the same. The crimes in question are grim and the reasons behind them even worse - most likely why the film has a over 15's rating. Set in 2032, mankind has implemented machines into everyday life, more importantly, machines that ressemble the appearance of humans. This is the creepy theme that runs through the film, questioning a humans need for its creations to ressemble the creator. GITS2:I reveals the harsh but inevitable truth that these androids (gynoids) are being created for far sinister purposes than to aid in the workplace. As the title suggests, these machines are inhabited by the 'ghosts' or essence of the people they once were or resembled. However when a series of these machines malfunction and commit gruesome crimes, Batou and Togusa are called up to figure out just what the hell is going on. The one thing these gynoids have in common? They're all sex dolls. So when the crime syndicate, the Yakuza are revealed to be involved in the kidnapping of young girls, the situation becomes even more dire. The story is intriguing and unsettling, but unfortunately let down whenever a conversation lasts over 5 minutes.  "Just as luck appears in three, so does misfortune." (Visuals, Environments & CGI) This is when the visuals come into question - as this film is very well received thanks to its glorious CGI integration with the animation, its obvious that its where all the budget went. Many conversations are dreerily held in dark rooms with 2 or 3 people talking, with a mouth moving and the occasional blink. This is the problem in my eyes, because all the animations of movement looks fantastically smooth, but there are so many times when everyone stays completely still whilst the they dish out pages of dialogue thats as dim as the lifeless pictures. The surroundings in particular look devine, with bright neon signs outside, lighting up the night sky and classy roll's royce style cars polluting the roads. The design of the gynoids is menacingly awesome as their eyes glow and all seem to loo like geishas. My personal favourite graphics where scenes with Batou's dog. That's right, the most inappropriate, unnecessary aspect of the film. The director makes it personal as he has the same breed of dog (a Basset Hound) and makes sure all the visuals with the dog very well done, and as a dog owner myself, I can see the attraction and similarities. Conversations aside, the action scenes normally contain anime character designs and extremely detailed CGI surroundings, blending together seamlessly.  "No, I'll lead. You're so damned big, I can't cover you!" (Summary) Being totally honest, I like the idea of the film more than watching it - kind of makes me sleepy - and at 100 minutes, I believe it is too long for what's in store, almost as if some scenes are used as filler and not relative. There's also several sayings, mainly from Batou, that just sound a bit silly really such as: "no matter how far a jackass may travel, it will never return as a horse." and "When there is no right or wrong it's time to beat the drums and attack". The case may say 'from the makers of spirited away and howl's moving castle' but this isn't a legitimate fact as Studio Ghibli films are renown for their stories, so the creators are behind the visuals more than anything else. The music though is just spine tingling as before, with the same theme song used again - a chillingly beautiful 'Japanese Wedding' song supposed to ward of evil influences. Also, the CGI interludes (with the aforementioned song) are visually dazzling, if a little mental with its parade balloons, performers and machines.  Double Disc Set DVD Features -Making of -Commentaries -Subtitles -Dubs -Trailers -Sneak Peaks for GITS series -Interview with director

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