Alita: Battle Angel is a new sci-fi adventure movie by Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron. While it has flaws and is a bit heavy-handed on the romance, it’s a stunningly gorgeous sci-fi action flick. Here’s our review!
Alita: Battle Angel is a new sci-fi adventure movie. It came about via a close collaboration between Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron. Also, apparently Guillermo del Toro played a part since he introduced James Cameron to the Alita manga in the first place.
Honestly, we weren’t all that impressed with the trailer for Alita: Battle Angel. For this reason alone, we watched it at an IMAX press screening with no expectation. To our pleasant surprise, we ended up truly enjoying it.
Its main flaw is the naive and pretty heavy-handed romance between a cyborg and a human. Still, Alita: Battle Angel is a visually stunning movie with awesome action sequences.
Just accept the romance element and move on
Let’s just get it over with right away; Yes, there is a romance element and it is pretty central to the story in Alita: Batte Angel. And yes, it does also take up more time than many fans of sci-fi, thriller, and horror movies would prefer.
However, the romance plot does also do a lot for character development. Especially for the title character “Alita”. Also, the relationship between the cyborg, Alita, and the human boy, Hugo, plays a big part in illustrating this future world.
With this in mind, we can handle the romance in Alita: Battle Angel just fine. Sure, it’s hard not to roll your eyes at the cheesier moments, but those aren’t too frequent. And otherwise, the movie is pretty damn dark and brutal.
Also, did I mention that it’s stunningly well-made?!
Rosa Salazar is Alita
The crucial title role of Alita is portrayed by Rosa Salazar. If you’ve watched Susanne Bier’s Netflix movie Bird Box (and who hasn’t at this point), then you should recognize her from that. Also, she was in the Maze Runner franchise, so there’s that as well.
In Alita: Battle Angel, it’s all about the character played by her. And yes, Alita is an animated character, but in the style of Avatar or Planet of the Apes. So not only has she played out these scenes wearing a polka-dotted outfit, but it’s also very obvious that she’s the one playing this role.
It’s pretty damn cool to watch some of the “behind the scenes” stuff for Alita: Battle Angel. Even for the more hardcore battle scenes, Rosa Salazar kicks serious butt. And while watching this movie in a 3D IMAX version, I even found myself almost kicking along from my seat.
So yes, it’s quite efficient!
An awesome supporting cast
The overall cast for Alita: Battle Angel is so awesome you will constantly be surprised by who you see (or hear). Even some of the tiniest roles are played by actors like Edward Norton and Michelle Rodriguez.
The key roles are played by Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connely, and Mahershala Ali.
Christoph Waltz is brilliant as always. This is a more laidback character for him as opposed to those we usually see him portray. His characters in Django Unchained and Inglorious Basterds both earned him an Academy Award and are a far cry from his Alita: Battle Angel character.
The other Academy Award winners, Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind) and Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), both work well. However, the character Jennifer Connelly plays is somewhat stereotypical. Her development is, anyway. And Mahershala Ali looks eerily like Wesley Snipes in Blade. It almost feels like a spoof at times.
Also, we get the pleasure of Ed Skrein (Deadpool) as one of the villains. He’s a real tough guy who is very concerned about keeping his face beautiful at all times. A running joke throughout the movie.
Visually gorgeous with awesome fight scenes
Alita: Battle Angel was directed by Robert Rodriguez, but the movie itself came to life as a partnership between him and James Cameron, who’s busy with his Avatar movies.
The two also wrote the screenplay along with Laeta Kalogridis. She has previously written on movies like Shutter Island as well as being the creator of the Netflix series Altered Carbon.
Since Alita: Battle Angel is based on a manga (just like Altered Carbon is a futuristic story based on a novel), it seems like an obvious choice to have Laeta Kalogridis onboard for this as well.
If you want to watch a movie that is a visual masterpiece and features impressive action scenes, then check out Alita: Battle Angel.
Alita: Battle Angel is out in US theaters from February 14, 2019.
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Writers: James Cameron, Robert Rodriguez, Laeta Kalogridis
Stars: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Mahershala Ali, Keean Johnson, Jennifer Connelly
A deactivated female cyborg is revived, but cannot remember anything of her past life and goes on a quest to find out who she is.