Movie Review: Alita Battle Angel
Those with high hopes of seeing producer James Cameron, the writer and director of the critically acclaimed “Avatar,” brings another fantasy world to life in “Alita: Battle Angel” will be sorely disappointed. While “Alita” does have a few creative and flashy fights, the rest of the film lacks depth and feels incomplete.
Based on the 1990s manga (a Japanese graphic novel) “Battle Angel Alita” by Yukito Kishiro, “Alita” takes place in the 26th century, nearly 300 years after a war between Earth and Mars in Iron City, one of the two remaining cities on Earth. The other city, Zalem, floats directly above Iron City and stores the most privileged people on Earth.
The actual story begins when cyborg warrior Alita (a literally wide-eyed Rosa Salazar) is found in bits by generous cyber doctor Dyson Ido (an oddly timid Christopher Waltz), who takes her to his clinic to repair her.
After Ido puts her back together, Alita wakes up with no memories of her past, and she begins exploring Iron City for answers with help from the hard working Hugo (an overly sappy Keean Johnson). Alita and Hugo’s search brings them into conflict with Vector (a frustratingly monotone Mahershala Ali), philanthropic entrepreneur by day, malicious crime lord by night.
Though Ali proved himself a phenomenal lead in last year’s “Green Book,” his ability to act as Vector in “Alita” is limited due to the film’s script, which tends to leave scenes feeling incomplete. For other characters like Alita, Hugo and Ido, they are written as boring stock characters (Alita is a Mary Sue, Hugo is a suave and perfect love interest and Ido is an overprotective father).
The script itself, written by James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis, introduces the more important plot points awkwardly and haphazardly, making the $200 million feature film feel more constructed than naturally flowing.
While “Alita” doesn’t earn much merit for its story, it does have about 10 minutes of pure fun in some action sequences. Hugo introduces Alita to a sport called motorball, a game that mixes racing, basketball, and when played professionally by cyborgs, a battle to the death. Additionally, because Alita is the only “good guy” who can fight, she must resolve any fight she gets into alone.
“Alita: Battle Angel” is a clunky mess that I would not think about experiencing again if it not for its small bits of simply fun Sci-Fi action.
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Will Roach, junior, is the Opinions Editor for the Messenger. He is the president of the Movie Appreciation Club and is a varsity member of Speech and...