Alita: Battle Angel falls from graces


Colin Donahue

It’s the 26th century, approximately 300 years after the collapse of common society known as the fall and the world is a completely different place. Iron City is a massive city that rests below the last of the great sky cities, Zalem. Nobody from Iron City is able to go to Zalem, as it is an advanced society with greater affluence than Iron City.
However in Iron City, Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) is an honest man working as a doctor and repairing prosthetic limbs for the citizens of Iron City. In search of better parts for his patients, Ido is scrounging the scrapyard; the garbage that drops from Zalem. He eventually stumbles upon the remains of a cyborg that is hundreds of years old.
Directed by Robert Rodriguez, “Alita: Battle Angel” is a CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) sci-fi hodgepodge that overall has nothing to offer. There is a lot to unpack in this film, as there is so much to it in regards to the movie-making process. The movie is largely CGI, most of the characters shown in it are either fully CGI or have limbs made of CGI. Alita herself (Rosa Salazar), is 100% CGI, while there is an actor doing the stunts and mouth movements/speaking, her on-screen presence is totally SFX (Special Effects).
That is where I would like to make my first point, Alita is fantastic. Her character is beautifully made and her movements are much more fluid than the others. Some of the hardest things to animate while making a film are water, hair and eyes; and Alita’s eyes in this film are outstanding, she is what made this movie watchable in my mind.
While the movie is visually very impressive, it is not without its drawbacks. First, the screenplay (writing and character actions) in this movie is lackluster to say the least. The writing is very basic and it doesn’t challenge the viewer at all; the plot is telegraphed very easily and some of the “hints” the writers try to sneak in the script are eye-roll worthy.
Next is the acting, and I have given a great bit of thought into this aspect of the movie. I partly blame the screenplay for this issue, but there are several moments throughout the film that I can no longer blame the screenplay for; the acting from a majority of the supporting cast is bad.
Despite this movie being not good overall, it does have its moments for sure. The action sequences are absolutely awesome, Alita in action is truly remarkable to watch and her moves while fighting are original and creative, which is great to see. With scenes in the “motorball” arena, are also phenomenal and give the viewer what they want, some good action. I also saw this movie in 3D. If you are going to see this movie in theaters, I recommend you do the same; some of the visuals that come with the 3D are excellent.
If you are a fan of the sci-fi genre, as I am, I would say give this movie a watch. It is not, however, worth your $15 fee to see in the theater; wait to see it at home when it comes to On Demand or to another streaming service. If you do not enjoy these kinds of films, I would stay away entirely. If you want to immerse yourself into a movie of this style, I recommend seeing Ready Player One, Avatar, and/or RoboCop (1987).