Alita: Battle Angel is the newest movie from director James Cameron who has brought us visually stunning movies such as Avatar and Titanic. Although this time around Cameron did not direct the movie as that job was given to equally talented director Robert Rodriguez. Rodriguez is of course known for movies such as Sin City and the Machete movies. For those of you unfamiliar with Alita, the movie is based on the Manga series created by Yukio Kushiro in 1994 called Battle Angel Alita. The series follows a cyborg named Alita in a post-apocalyptic world, who has lost all memory and is found in a scrap heap by a doctor of cybernetics who rebuilds and takes care of her. She slowly begins regaining her memory as she learns that she is the last of a fierce alien warrior line. While I have not read the Mangas, it seems the movie follows the books relatively well. But lets dive into the highs and lows of Alita: Battle Angel. As always if you haven’t seen the movie this article is SPOILER heavy, so turn away now.
When you get any type of James Cameron movie, you already know that the movie is going to be a visually fantastic and eye pleasing movie. Avatar showed us just how visually technical Cameron is capable of reaching and from the time of that movie to now, we now know he is pretty much the master. The movie is stunning to the eye and needs to be seen on the biggest screen possible, with the best sound system, and definitely in 3D. Yes I said it, it needs to be seen in 3D. I myself cannot believe I am saying this because I hate 3D movies, but this one was made to be seen in 3D. It’s not for the fact that things are going to pop out at you, its because of the detail that goes into everything even just something as simple as things going on in the background is amazing. You literally feel like you immersed in the movie and it is unlike anything I have ever experienced before.
Low: Under Used Talented Actors
One of the main things that was a selling point to go see this movie, was the fact that it had some fantastic and big named actors involved in the cast. You had Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, and Mahershala Ali all in one movie which in itself is a strong cast. What was disappointing is in the trailers we get a sense that Mahershala Ali was going to be this big bad character and he was going to be a real problem for Alita. What we got was just this puppet essentially that didn’t really do much at all but have a line here and there telling people to do stuff. Jennifer Connelly was another under used character. We soon found out she was the ex wife of Christoph Waltz character and she has arterial motives making her someone what of a villain. While her character was intriguing, again she was more of a background character that would pop in here and there. Christoph Waltz was used better and served his purpose as the father role, but again we were left a little but wanting more.
High: Rosa Salazar’s Performance
If you have seen this movie you already how amazing of a performance came from Rosa Salazar as Alita. Say what you want about the movie and how it was made and whatever complaints you have, one thing is for sure, you will not be complaining about the performance of Rosa Salazar. If you know how the movie was filmed you know that she basically motion captured her performance so everything she does in the movie is her doing it in real life, changed into a animated body. How she portrays this confused lost character, trying to learn right from wrong as well as try and figure out her past was mesmerizing. Her relationships with the other characters especially with her father were works of art. Up until this movie, I really didn’t know her as an actress. Sure I now know she has been in a handful of movies, but she never really stared as a main lead, but boy do I know her now. Her performance in this is what sucked me into the movie and never let me go. She is what makes this movie, no question.
Low: The Stray Dog
If you have seen the movie, you probably already know what i’m talking about. In the beginning of the movie, Alita is walking around the city getting used to her surroundings as well as learning and seeing whats going on. During this time she comes across a stray dog. She befriends the dog for a little bit but then the dog pretty much disappears for a little bit. Then when Alita is in the Hunter Warrior bar, she is again met by Grewishka whom she fought earlier. All of a sudden the dog appears again and then what is honestly the thing that took me personally a little bit out of the movie, Grewishka kills the dog. Then to make things even weirder, Alita then decides to bend down and dab her finger in the blood of the dog and smear it on her face. The whole entire part seemed unnecessary to me and I haven’t read the Manga’s and maybe that is a big part, but I did not like that scene at all. Anytime an animal, especially a dog, gets killed the movie takes a blow for me. What is weirdest to me now seeing the movie is that every time a see a poster or something with Alita and the blood on her face, I see and know that that is the blood of the dead dog. It’s just weird and I did not like it at all.
High: The Whole Experience
Going into the movie I really didn’t have an expectations. To be completely honest at the time I would have been fine with not seeing the movie. Boy was I wrong. The whole entire movie experience was something that I have never really had before. The movie itself is pretty solid and has its minor flaws, but again it was like something I haven’t experienced before. I have never ever come out of a movie thinking that movie needs to be watched in 3D. I never saw Avatar in 3D at the theaters and now I wonder how much of a mistake I made. Everything visually about the movie is breathtaking. You literally feel immersed in this world and visually you catch yourself even just looking around at whats going on in the background because of how stunning it is. It is definitely a movie you would want to experience in theaters.
I personally have never read the Manga, so I don’t want to say that this is a great representation of it. But for someone like me who has not read Manga and went into this movie not knowing anything, I came out with a better appreciation of the genre. The movie itself was way better than what I was expecting. I didn’t really even have a desire to see the movie and by then end I walked out really enjoying it and definitely glad that I and saw this in theaters. It was also nice to finally see a 3D movie that wasn’t just made to make that extra few dollars, but instead to make you appreciate the story being told and what is going around in the movie. It is visually stunning and overall a great time. It is definitely a movie you want to see in theaters.