Director: Rupert Sanders. Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Pitt. 107 min. Rated PG-13. USA/India/China/Japan/Hong Kong/UK/New Zealand/Canada/Australia. Sci-fi/Action.
My minimal experience with anime says the reason such stories are told through animation, is that their extravagance makes any live-action film-making prohibitive. So here we have a live-action iteration of a famous anime, and now I'm thinking maybe the sensory overload of such dizzying sci-fi makes even live-action film the wrong medium. There's an interesting concept here, that we still carry a human soul residue, no matter how electronically "enhanced" we become. But Scarlett Johansson's white-washing (no explanation why the Japanese heroine doesn't look Asian) is just too blatant and distracting for the film to create any lasting effect.
PS: Nice analysis here.