I can still remember watching the animated version in the 90s. Back then it was a mindblowing experience, especially for the early teenager I was back then. I never felt at home with anime, but this was different: bold ideas, bold questions and a paradoxical ending. And now I have the possibility to rewatch this in movie form – what could possibly go wrong?
Sadly, a lot. The movie tries to follow the original very closely, at least visually, initially also the original narrative, but at the cost of dumbing down the whole thing.
Examples ( hurray spoilers ):
-The villain of the original anime is some AI gone rogue. The ultimate sin of the movie was to replace him with some emo hippie.
-The real villain of the movie is a joke. Acting in the name of the government, yet always alone without any superiors. I guess they labeled him generic bad guy in the script.
Well, they have gotten the visuals right ( must be impossible to mess them up with such a budget ). But for the rest, expect a hollow shell without any ghost.