Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Rated 3.0 Hyper-realistic female robots begin slaughtering their masters in Mamoru Oshii’s anime noir sequel, and ponytailed cyborg cop Bateau uncovers a scandal and coverup as his investigation into the murders deepens. This somewhat convoluted story involving Yakuza goons, hackers, corrupt bureaucrats and corporate criminals is set in the year 2032. The lines between humans and machines has blurred to the point that humans have forgotten what it is like to be human in both spirit and body, and cyborgs are mechanized bodies inhabited by future-shock human spirits. The film’s moodiness (bathed in retro piano lounge music), art direction and action sequences are excellent. And the pregnant pauses in action and dialogue are oddly effective. But this crime thriller about the fading of the human soul is just as obsessed with spewing fortune-cookie philosophy (“One need not to be Caesar to understand Caesar”) as humans are with recreating robots in their own image.