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Alita: Battle Angel Review

Animeman73Aug 9, 2019, 1:02:59 AM

Author’s Note: there will be a few mild spoilers in this. You’ve been warned! Also please read my commentary at end of this.

At the time I wrote this I had just gotten back from watching the movie in the theater which thankfully was in walking distance of my home. I hope I can make this review as entertaining as possible for readers, but I digress on with the review.

Alita: battle Angel!

I had already heard good things about this movie and wanted to see for myself what all the hub bub was about. Alita: Battle Angel, is based on the much-loved Japanese Manga Battle Angel Alita by Yukito Kashiro. Produced by the team of Laeta Kalogridis and James Cameron, and directed by Hollywood heavyweight Robert Rodriguez, this film also utilized the talents of the VFX of the company Weta Digital. This film utilized highly advanced motion capture technology. 

Robert Rodriguez director of Alita. You did right by the Otaku, and we remember!

The story takes place in the year 2583, 300 years after the end of the war between the Earth and United Republic of Mars. Dr. Dyson Ido, played brilliantly by Christopher Waltz, while rummaging through a junkyard of spare parts which fall from the last floating city on Earth, Zalem, discovers a humanoid cyborg, or at least the head and shoulders of one.

Dr. Dyson Ido, a man of many secrets and Alita's father figure. Played brilliantly by Christopher Waltz.

He immediately proceeds to put her together again. Rose Salazar who voices Alita shows she’s got true acting chops as she shows that while she is a cyborg she can think and feel for herself. 

Rose Salazar aas Alita. Young lady you got some serious acting chops!

As Alita begins to learn about the world of Iron City that she’s living in it quickly becomes apparent that all is not well here as Iron City during the day seems busy and civil enough but at night the city becomes a death trap for so many. and the only ones protecting it are the Bounty Hunters, and considering the number of deaths in the city it’s evidently clear they’re not exactly the police, which is nonexistent in Iron city. One of those cyborg Bounty Hunters is Zapan, played in a deliciously narcissistic and sadistic fashion by British actor Ed Skrein (Francis Freeman Ajax from Deadpool). 

Zapan as potrayed by Ed Skrein, one nasty treacherous so and so, and so well done!

He carries a particularly nasty weapon called a Damascus sword, a weapon which can go through molecules like a knife through butter. Yikes!

Alita is assisted by a young man named Hugo, Played by Keann Johnson, who becomes her love interest in the film. What I found refreshing is that Hugo is a young man who while of good heart has a dirty little secret.

Hugo as played by Keann Johnson,a  man of good heart with a dark secret. Boy Alita sure can pick em, can't she?

In fact, what makes this movie so good is that even the “good guys” in this film have stains on their conscience. That’s something that makes for great characters.

While the overall big bad guy in this movie is a force called Nova, played by Edward Norton, the immediate enemies of Alita are Grewishka, played by Jackie Earl Haley, a nasty assassin in the service of Nova, and Vector, played by Muhershala Ali, a man who controls and rigs games of Motorball, the popular pass time of Iron City. 

Meet Grewishka, one of two big bad guys destoined to be a BIG pain in Alita's side througout the movie.

Vector you scheming, conniving so and so! Muhershala Ali turns in a brilliant performance as this antagonist!

As the story progresses Alita learns more about herself and slowly adapts. In the process there are times where her body is mostly destroyed. That is one of the beauties of this film is that while she triumphs it’s not without cost forcing her and the characters around her to change and grow. 

What doesn't kill Alita only makes her stronger. Here is Alita in her new Berserker model body

The absolute essence of good storytelling.

Alita finally gets herself a body, which she learns was a type meant for a Berserker class battle cyborg of the U.R.M. As the story progresses, she learns that she was part of the final assault on Earth by the U.R.M. at the end of the war with Earth

Alita's search for her past will help uncover some history from the final days of the way between Earth and the U.R.M.

The thing I enjoyed the most about this movie is while this has a lot of special effects in it, the special effects don’t take away from the movie. And the performances given by the actors in this are very well done. Rose Salazar’s performance in this was absolutely exceptional, I see good things for this actress’ future. Yes, she is a machine but this is a character who people can relate to as she expresses pain, joy, and sorrow just like anyone else and the romantic involvement with Hugo is very organic and believable.

I loved how Hugo and alita's relationship developed. it was very organic and relatable.

What I enjoyed the most about this film was while it introduced us to the world of Alita: Battle Angel it left open room for potential sequels to learn more about this world’s history. I liked that because it didn’t bog us down with too much backstory while giving just enough for the viewer to say, “More, I want more!” and I can say I was no exception to the rule. 

My only real complaint might be there is perhaps a little too much special effects, but it’s not enough to take away from the story, which is very strong and very well written. Not to mention James Cameron, Laeta Kalogridis, and Robert Rodriguez have earned some real credit with the Otaku (anime fans).

James Cameron, a master storyteller, he and  Laeta Kalogridis two more who did right by the Otaku!

Overall, Alita: Battle Angel is an excellent movie with plenty of good special effects, and a superb heartfelt story line that draws the movie goer in to an incredible and dark world of the distant future. This is Science Fiction at its best. And best of all no ham-fisted political agendas. Just pure good old-fashioned entertainment. I highly recommend Alita: Battle Angel tfor any Sci-Fi enthusiast. I give Alita: Battle Angel a solid 4 and a half out of 5 stars. I recommend going to see this movie in theaters, or buying it on DVD/Blu-Ray, or getting it on a streaming service. Well I hope you enjoyed this review thank you for your attention.

The anime/manga version of Alita.

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