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Alita: Battle Angel

elaineariasFeb 21, 2019, 7:06:54 PM

I will be blunt - I really liked this movie.

This is based on the manga Gunmm, of which was published as Battle Angel: Alita in the US, and it's about a cybernetic surgeon, Dyson Ido, finding a cyborg female in a scrap heap.  He puts her back together and basically raises her as a daughter, and she finds out that he's a bounty hunter called "hunter warrior." Meanwhile, she's got serious amnesia and does not know her own name, her past or where she came from.  The only way she remembers is by getting into fights.

The sets and CGI effects are amazing.  The fight scenes are also amazing and kind of reminded me of The Matrix, one of my absolute favorite movies.  It's a little violent for being a PG-13 film, but there's no blood, since most of the violence is committed by and against cyborgs who bleed blue fluid.

Alita herself is a fantastic character, and she is brilliantly played by Rosa Salazar, who deserves to go on to a fantastic career after this movie.  Alita is entirely CGI, but her face is obviously modeled after Rosa Salazar's face, and the performance was done by motion capture.  Alita is like a lot of anime heroines - cute and funny, but also tough and fiercely loyal.

Dr. Dyson Ido is played by Christoph Waltz, in a fatherly and very non-villainous way, which is good, because he's been typecast throughout his Hollywood career.  The rest of the cast is pretty solid too.  The guy that plays the love interest, Hugo, has been getting a lot of criticism for his performance, but I didn't think it was the worst.  Not the best either, mind you.  He was a diversity hire, as the producers wanted someone "ethnically ambiguous" to play Hugo.

The story covers the first three or four volumes of the manga, and a lot is packed into the story.  I would recommend reading the manga before watching the movie, if possible, as you probably won't get a lot of what's going on, like the motivations of the villains and protagonists.  The film also closely hews to the source material.

The sets are also amazing, especially Iron City, the primary setting of the story.  It looks suitably dystopian, but also kind of homey.  Its inhabitants have clearly made it their home.

There's no SJW messaging or bullshit here, which is something I am very, very grateful for.  It's just a classic good vs evil story.

I highly recommend this one, and I really hope a sequel is forthcoming, as it is set up for a sequel.  Given its lukewarm debut, it'll be up to the global market to secure a sequel.  I am going to see it again, as it's that good.