When one prior narrative is pulverized, manufactured, & ultimately replaced, it takes an all new form. Anime to live-action, one original film to another. It's got the essence of what was once held dear, w/portions of its past life coming up in a fog, while the current identity takes over. Celluloid to celluloid, 1995 Anime classic has now become the "ghost" in an effective 2017 "shell".
Less existential/lonesome in practice and more solidified on a power of society RAPING the human mind. The terrifying spin of a pragmatic, multi-cultural society being hacked, pillaged, plundered, and at risk at any time to be abducted elicits a higher caliber of fear towards the future. Cybertronic upgrades are the new pro-life campaigns that are broadcast across the world 24/7. UPGRADE YOURSELF. ENHANCE. RENEW. LIVE BETTER. The conglomerates that mask tyranny as business. Convincing the public that memories have no value, only moving forward to further zombifying - or encasing everyone in their own shell - is the answer to salvation. Utopia is achieved when everyone can be controlled.
Revolting against it is, in two-fold, an attitude towards the towering business that plays god within the picture & Sanders + co. going against the grain w/its own vision beyond standard anticipation in opting for an exact remake. It can respect elements once held dear to the original, while wanting to exist on its own merit. There's a bond, w/o feeling the NEED to be a direct reflection. As the Major attempts to pick up the pieces in figuring herself out, the film continuously dives into its own center adapting & thriving all on what keeps it separate.
Visually a masterpiece. Full blown immersion from the moments it reflects from the original, to every stunning detail that gives it a unique identity. w/its combative narrative going against the grain, it relies on a specific feel to work in concert throughout the journey. w/o one, there wouldn't be the other type. From its sights - the justified use of shell creation opening credits, prism shaped home motif, frequent skyscraper advertisements, etc - to the directing blending new set ups into established moments; IE manifesting the climatic battle scene in which the Major is positioned on a balcony facing the spiderbot, its all a sea of new dreams & forgotten memories.
Let the controversy rain down, if it must. The identity of this knowing it is full blown different, is much more refreshing than attempting to package it as one thing, while trying to convince the public it is the exact same. Or worse, "greater" than anything else. It's better than that.