Christoph WaltzJennifer Connelly...
Action & AdventureScience Fiction
In 8 Cinemas
Alita: Battle Angel created a lovable character, but drowned her in complexities instead of taking a simpler path that would have been much more enjoyable. The film follows Alita (Rosa Salazar), an amnesiac cyborg rescued from a scrapyard and named (after his dead daughter) by cyber scientist Dr Ido (Christoph Waltz). Struggling to discover who she is and adapt to her new life, Alita has to face the evils that come with this new world, even if it comes from the people closest to her.
The plot’s core is a journey of self-discovery, but the film mixes a multitude of elements into the plot bowl; Alita’s love affair with a young human boy (Keean Johnson), her rise in a dangerous sport called Motorball as an attempt to move to a better city, her rebellion over Ido’s paternal protective demeanour, her fight against evil mercenaries trying to steal her parts, and more.
The film randomly throws these elements like beads on a table and then attempts to connect them. The result is that the connections are weak, obvious, and sometimes do not make sense. Characters appear out of nowhere, motives are unexplained, and logic is sidelined, all to advance the plot and all its complexities.
Another consequence is that the audience has several unanswered questions like how a human can have a romantic relationship with a cyborg? Why can’t the technology in Alita be recreated? If Alita is so precious, why was she dumped in a scrapyard? And many more questions arise, all with no answers because the film bites off so much more than it can chew.
Alita: Battle Angel is also riddled with clichés; from the parental relationship between robot and creator to the two-world separation. Luckily, the film is so jammed with elements that it jumps from one cliché to another quicker than the realisation of most audience members.
What the feature does have going for it is the characterisation of Alita; whether it is because of her big anime eyes or her zest for life, Alita is very lovable and relatable which has audiences caring and sympathising with her to a considerable extent. Hugo called her “the most human person” he has ever met, and no one can argue with that.
The film’s action sequences, equipped with its fascinating graphics, are also impressive. There are multiple flips, kicks, and punches that will leave you in awe, especially for not seeming to cartoon or silly.
For the acting, Rosa Salazar does a fantastic job with her tone of voice as well as the facial expressions she provides for the animators to use. Christoph Waltz plays his part adequately but could have definitely taken it up a couple of notches with the protective aspect when it comes to facial expressions. Keean Johnson’s performance was quite bland, which may be partly due to how his character was written, but his efforts did almost nothing to change that.
Even though its quite messy there is a good chance you will enjoy this movie if you like sci-fi films, action sequences, and empathy-evoking characters.