Now Showing: Alita, Battle Angel

Alita: Battle Angel is the long awaited film from Robert Rodriguez (Sin City) and it stars Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained), Dr. Dyson Ido and Rosa Salazar (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials) as Alita.

The movie follows Alita who is found by Dr. Ido. She is brought back into his doctor’s office and restored into a functional cyborg.

Dr. Ido actually works on people who need cybernetic enhancements, and can give repairs to people. In this world there is a city above where most of the poor live. From the junk that has been dropped off of the towering city, Alita is found.

The city has a major sport called Motorball similar to football on roller blades where the goal is to return the ball to its designated spot. That has the world taken by storm, and to the competitors gives them a possibility to go to the city above. The divided world was due to a major battle. From there Alita must find out who she is, and where she has come from.

The movie is actually based from source material, and I do not have any reference to that source material. Instead, Alita is an Action/Sci-Fi Blockbuster that wears its ambitions on its sleeve (in a good way).

The greatest part of Alita is its incredible visual effects. I often complain about using too much CGI in movies, but this movie does a great job of mixing CGI with physical locations, so much so that I often wasn’t looking for CGI parts. The desolate, but busy world of the film is wonderfully imagined, and the usage of CGI allows that vision to be carried further. The character designs are unique, inventive, and really cool. This is certainly going to be a visual effects showcase, and seeing this one on the biggest screen possible is a must. Alita leaps in the air, and the carnage flies around in a symphony of destruction, but yet you can see all of it. It’s that attention to detail that separates something like this from Transformers which uses its CGI as a way to show action, instead of showing depth.

The acting performances across the board are really good. Rosa Salazar is mostly CGI in the film, as she is made to look like a cyborg, but her motion capture looks great and you can tell who it is. The effects done to her are incredible, and this is one of the rare times that I actually forgot that it was a CGI character.

Uncanny Valley to me wasn’t an issue with the character, which is incredibly difficult to pull off even for big studios like Marvel. The supporting cast all puts in really good work, with a really strong antagonist as well.

The story here is constantly entertaining. This movie plays out a bit like one of those common fish-out-of-water things that have been far too common nowadays, but instead of Alita being a bumbling idiot about the world around her, she picks up on things naturally and quickly. Her character’s plot throughout the film is simultaneously satisfying and interesting to watch. She goes through emotions like a human, and the movie does a great job of making you really care about her throughout the film.

Overall, Alita is a must watch film. This film could set up a great franchise, so be sure to see this one in theaters. Sales of movie tickets are the largest indicator for studios when looking at what films need a sequel. Far too many films don’t get seen in theaters today, and audiences are then shocked when it doesn’t get a sequel. See the films that you think you will like, and that will not be as much of an issue.

Alita: Battle Angel gets an 8/10, and is worth seeing in theaters.

 

David Gifford is a sales representative with The Mountain Echo and a gaming and movie enthusiast.