Watch 'Ghost In The Shell's First 5 Minutes And Get The Themes Explained

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'Ghost in the Shell' has some difficult questions to ponder about the nature of human consciousness. Paramount Pictures

The first five minutes of Ghost in the Shell are now available to view online. Ghost in the Shell opens with Major (Scarlett Johansson) breaking up an assault on the president of Hanka Robotics, who is pitching new cybernetic enhancements to some government leaders. Right after a combination of renegade robots and scarred-up, augmented yakuza kill everyone in the room, Major arrives to mop up and receive a cryptic warning. This extended Ghost in the Shell preview has a lot of footage that might look familiar; it seems the trailers have pulled a lot of material from this opening.

While five minutes aren’t enough to judge Ghost in the Shell as a whole, already we can see some ways in which the live-action adaptation will differ from the anime.

First, it looks like Major’s Section 9 is no longer a governmental police force, but more akin to a private security force, working in the direct interests of Hanka Robotics. The trailer for Ghost in the Shell suggests the Major will be uncovering a Robocop-like conspiracy against her, personalizing the narrative and narrowing it to the Major’s life. These first five minutes would seem to validate that impression, wiping away a lot of the more complicated political intrigue of the anime in favor of an anti-conspiracy plot occurring largely within the bounds of a single corporation. But that’s just speculation.

READ : 'Ghost In The Shell’ Trailer 2: Scarlett Johansson's New Movie Is Just 'Robocop'?

The most telling part of these first five minutes comes at 2:00, when the representative of some sort of government delegation lists his concerns with committing to further cybernetic enhancement contracts with Hanka Robotics. “My people embrace cyber enhancement, as do I,” he says. “But there’s no one who really understands the risk to individuality, identity, to messing with the human soul.” Yes, these first five minutes from Ghost in the Shell also include our first infodump. And while the 2017 Ghost in the Shell is hitting on the same thematic material as the original, inserting what amounts to a thesis statement right at the beginning is the best indication yet that the new Ghost in the Shell has no interest in ambiguity. It sounds more like crib notes.

That our first taste of a full Ghost in the Shell scene is mostly instrumental dialogue suggests the final movie will be an action-thriller with breaks to explain everything that’s happening. Without getting into spoilers, it’s hard to imagine how the 2017 version will tackle more ambiguous stuff from the original, like the true nature of super hacker The Laughing Man. But the special effects look nice.

Ghost in the Shell will be out in theaters March 31.

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