Battle Angel Alita
by Richard Fox
*Warning. Light Spoilers*
I did not grow up a fan of the manga or the anime source material, so had a clean slate of expectations when I went in to see the movie. That James Cameron worked on the script was a good sign, as he has some sort of magic wand to make people love otherwise forgettable stories. Robert Rodriguez as director has been hit or miss for me in the past (Sin City-Yeah! Shark Boy and Lave Girl-Dafuq!).
So I sat down in the theater with an open mind and…I loved it.
The movie was beautiful. Iron City felt real. I wanted to go to Zalem. Alita’s giant anime eyes didn’t bother me. The acting was solid.
I love stories about soldiers cast off after a war, and Alita had that going for her. Just how she came to realize who she really was, and how she was going to fit in, made for a great time. Bravo!
The supporting cast was mostly excellent. Dr. Ido was compelling. You get why he did what he did and why he was an obstacle to Alita a few times. Christof Waltz was great as always.
I thought Chiren deserved more screen time. She vanished from the film for too long and popped up towards the end with a character revelation that wasn’t earned.
Hugo proved to be an interesting surprise with his character, though every time he showed up before the end of the movie was a great time to go to the bathroom.
What was with Nurse Gerhad? She was basically a prop in the movie but had way too many reaction shocks. Que the ‘dull surprise’ reaction from you MST3K die hards.
There were a few weak points. Alita’s speech in the bounty hunter bar was just cringy. And the ending was blatant sequel bait.
I wanted to know more about the URM and more about Zalem. We got too much tease and not enough pay off for those plot threads, but sequel, amiright?
I had a great time at that movie and want to see the next one. Definitely not for the under 13 crowd.