It takes off where the first left off in the sense that the major is not involved in the start and we assume is in the cyber grid in her new form. Batou takes the helm as the protagonist, sustaining the internal dread of major not being by his side. The story, like all the critics mention, is a bit scattered and unfocused. The ‘Kim’ scene I found to be really cool, although I’ll be honest and went for the rewind-button in a thought-the-technology skipped stupor. The characters, it seems, have come to such a sterile point with their society that the way of their self-expression, emotion or disbelief, is through probing their vast minds and memories for philosophical quotes. At least that’s my justification for how many are thrown off throughout and in fact, they didn’t bother me and I always tried to understand them in their delivery and context. I didn’t like the soundtrack as compared to the first. It didn’t have the immediacy to it, more like an afterword feeling like I said before. An ‘after the war’ solitude. There are sporadic references to the first, like Batou quietly saying he knew a girl who loved to swim, a deep murmur that us as devoted viewers understand and remember.
The ghost in the shell 2 lacks the linearity and overall stand-on-its own quality of the first film. I feel like Mamoru pieced it together with his signature intelligence, but was compulsive and sought immediate sparks of “Oh-Wow” and not a film as a whole. It’s as if the director sub misses himself to the grandeur of his first film, and accepts that this is an afterword. And on that, it does well.
I enjoyed the movie very much, especially the second half and the scene with the dolls dropping down by their wired-sinews. The animation was top-notch and has a sort of hip-like magnificence that is reminiscent of what George Lucas did to star wars in the later movies. That moment, when the doll we so telepathically want returned to action and her friend Batau; It generally runs as an ode to characters, like a television show, where their is no possible way you want be excited by them. All in all, If you saw and loved the first film, there’s no reason why you won’t like this one too. If you check it out without any expectations or hopes, you might just be amused.