Synopsis: Alita. A Cyborg awakes in an unfamiliar world and begins a search for her true identity.
Review: Based on the Manga comics. Alita: Battle Angel is the newest film from producer James Cameron and director Robert Rodriguez and is a visual treat.
Set in the year 2563, which is 300 years after a huge interplanetary war. The story of Alita begins in 2563 when her human/cyborg remains are found by Dr. Dyson Ito. The good Doctor makes his living by repairing Cyborg clients and was at one time a cybernetics engineer working for the Motorball league a job he quit after the death of his daughter.
Ito finds Alita and rebuilds her using a cybernetic skeleton and body that he’d designed for his daughter who was disabled.
When Alita awakes. She finds herself in a world that she is totally unfamiliar with and no memory of her past life as a soldier in the war that took place 300 years in the past. A time when Cybernetic technology was far in advance of the present that she is living in.
The film follows Alita’s journey as she learns about her past. Becomes a bounty hunter and falls in love.
Rosa Salazar puts in a wonderful performance as a wide-eyed young Alita who is testing the boundaries and trying to learn about a new world that she has found herself in. Her scenes with Christoph Waltz work really well on a father and daughter dynamic, but at times seem to be rushed and somewhat brushed over to favor the action.
Jennifer Connelly has an interesting role in this film as Ito’s ex-wife Chiren who isn’t the most likable character you will meet but does have a bit of a journey in the story, which again could have used a little more padding. I have to admit. I didn’t recognize Connelly when I saw her in the film and had to look her up on IMDB while viewing the film, which goes to show what a complete transformation she went through.
The acting throughout the film is pretty good in that all the actors are committed to their roles. But it seems that the character beats and the story related to the individual characters are a little rushed in favor of the action and spectacle of the film.
Extras are one thing that the Blu Ray edition of this film is not short
- Alita’s World – Explores the world that Alita inhabits and talks a little about her origins.
- From Manga To Screen – This explores the process of how filmmakers adapted the story to film and what inspiration was taken from the Manga comics.
- Evolution of Alita – A look at the various designs that led to how Alita looked in the film.
- Motorball – A more in-depth look at Iron Citys favorite sport
Also included are Scene Deconstructions and other interviews and features.
Out of all of this, I perhaps enjoyed the From Manga to Screen documentary the best, which has made me curious about the comic as well as the animated version of Alita.
Alita: Battle Angel is an enjoyable film with lots of action and great spectacle and is one that I can see myself watching a few times. But it isn’t without flaws. The action is what takes centre stage here and that is great, but it is also a double edge sword because some of the character beats and relationships in the film seem to be rushed.
We were given a great world with flawed and interesting characters, but it feels like we have barely scratched the surface of these characters because of the rush to get to the next action beat, which is a real shame. All that said the rushed character beats do not totally ruin the movie, but it would have been a better movie had certain scenes have been a little more time to play out. Specifically, the relationships that Alita has with Ito and her boyfriend. I’d also liked to have seen a little more work done with Chiren given that her relationship with the Motorball league, the film’s villain, as well as with Ito play an important role in the films ending.
Overall. A pretty good film, but not as good as it could have been.
- Blu Ray Extras9.6
- Incidental Music9.5