Alita: Battle Angel (2019)


Alita: Battle Angel

When I first saw the trailer for this a while back, I was kind of critical. It didn’t actually grab my interest. Still even today before viewing the film I had my reservations. It felt similar in theme to a lot of new age dystopian film adaptations that we get and the horrors of Mortal Engines flashed before my eyes. I am a fan of both James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez, though this was a mighty ambitious effort for someone like Rodriguez and isn’t something that he has done before.

The film is about a female cyborg with a human brain who is brought back to life by a doctor. The thing is the cyborg (named Alita) has sparse memory of who she used to be despite the fact that she has an extensive and effective battling capability. She is soon hunted down by foes who realize that her body parts can be vital to them. Alita is played by Rosa Salazar and the film also stars Christoph Waltz, Mahershala Ali, and Jennifer Connelly. The film spent a long time in development hell but I’m glad it was finally brought to life.

I actually enjoyed this quite a bit. I think having a CG lead character blend in with regular humans is not just ambitious but could go wrong easily. I think it was done quite well here, and after a while you don’t even notice that Alita is different. The fight sequences provide for a good amount of popcorn entertainment, especially if you are watching the film in the cinema in a more special format. Its a really fun action packed film and that alone was worth the watch.

I think Salazar and the other actors do well in their parts. The storyline does feel under cooked at times,  and often a little muddled trying to explain the higher power of villain and the world up above. The love story, I get it. However, I feel it impinges on the quality of the film at times. There is dialogue in here that is cheesy and moments that are unintentionally funny but I can’t expect a full on classic when my expectations were low.

When you are nearing the end you just feel like the film is heading towards franchise building with a sequel. I wouldn’t have minded the film being a half an hour longer and reaching a finite conclusion. A sequel could be a slippery slope, I just hope that it matches the quality of this film. Overall, story writing, dialogue, and narrative content could have been improved but the action, CG, and fight sequences are top notch. Pleasantly surprised. I will give the film a re-watch in the future as I think its one that can reach the 8/10 rating with a little more thought.


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