Alita: Battle Angel Movie Review Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and half stars)
Star Cast: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Mahershala Ali, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Skrein, Keean Johnson
Director: Robert Rodriguez
What’s Good: The transportation of the real us to that ugly-yet-beautiful dystopian era, the accomplishment of achieving such an animated character from a real person, each and every sequence that contains action!
What’s Bad: The movie is stuck in development since 20 years and you feel that when you peel out the layers of VFX and CGI, the story just doesn’t match the grandeur of visual porn happening on screen.
Loo Break: Once you enter the cinema hall and put on your 3D glasses (IMAX recommended), the place will just convert into this futuristic, magnificent museum and there’s no chance you’ll want to leave it.
Watch or Not?: Want to experience visual porn on screen, one of the best 3D experiences with an okayish yet bearable story? Go for it!
The creativity just pops in from the first frame when the welcome logo of ’20th Century Fox’ turns into ’26th Century Fox’ to indicate that the story is set in 2653. What they say is the year is 300 years after the fall of the galaxy, we see a cyberphysician Dr Dyson Ido looking through the trash in a place known as Iron City. He discovers a disassembled cyborg with just a face. He gives the cyborg a robotic body and names her Alita. Her brain is blank and heart is said to be so powerful that it can brighten up the Iron City for years.
Alita tries to remember who she’s and during a fight saving Ido’s life, she gets some glimpses of her old life. Iron City is covered by a machine-driven aerial city known as Zalem. Alike our Rugby, the people of Iron City have their own sport known as Motorball. Dr Chiren (Jennifer Connelly) works for Vector (Mahershala Ali) in a hope that he’ll send her to Zalem someday. Amongst all this, we see Alita winning through all the odds to unmask the illicit deeds done by Vector and reach the ultimate boss of all – Nova (Edward Norton).
Alita: Battle Angel Movie Review: Script Analysis
Based on Yukito Kishiro’s Manga (Graphic Novel) Battle Angel Alita, the story was conceptualised in 1990. It’s almost 30 years old and you feel it throughout. The self- discovering angle, romantic track between Alita and Hugo, Alita developing the emotions with father Dr Dyson – we’ve seen all of these before. Apart from the Motorball sequence, there’s nothing pathbreaking happening on paper. But, if you can ignore all of that and concentrate on the screen, you’re in for a visual treat.
I believe, for all these 20 years, Cameron must be thinking only one thing – how to make this look beautiful. Efforts are visible, you can just dive into Cameron’s vision to see how broad it is. From the almost perfectly choreographed fight scenes to Motorball chase sequences – if I was a robot, I would’ve gone through multiple orgasms in the film. Bill Pope’s cameras know how to pan, where to aim at and when to slow down in every single scene. The cinematography is so smooth, even the fast-paced chasing scenes shine with each minute detail.
Alita: Battle Angel Movie Review: Star Performance
Rosa Salazar has mastered to live in the dystopian places and adapting their characteristics. From Maze Runner to Insurgent, Rosa tops her own niche with Alita: Battle Angel. Those big and wide, beautiful eyes and calmness of looking like an animated character, Rosa just races past through the expectations. Her flawless hand movements as she talks and widening the eyes with a vivid smile just forces you to think she’s anything but a real human being.
So, a recent interview of Christoph Waltz is going viral because he denied talking about his role in the film. I can totally see through him for doing the same because there’s not much to talk about it. I would say, “Mr Waltz, that’s not a bingo.” Mahershala Ali, the wonderful guy from Moonlight, is wasted too. Ali’s Vector is just another half baked character who’s lost and has no idea of what he’s doing in the film.
Jennifer Connelly as Dr Chirin is just about okay. She doesn’t have any great meat to add to the narration with a very limited scope to act. Ed Skrein as Zapan gets only his face to emote the expressions as the rest of his body is CGI. He’s pretty decent and tries hard to express as much as possible. Keean Johnson is good as Hugo and excels in the emotional scenes.
Alita: Battle Angel Movie Review: Direction, Music
Robert Rodriguez, the man behind building the Sin City designs the Iron City within one successful attempt. He lives up to Cameron’s expectations and does a great job to serve what he got in the plate. All the action sequences are carried out extremely well and Rodriguez is the man to thank for them.
Music was allocated to a perfect candidate – Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL but the results are pretty much average. After delivering a theme song of Wonder Woman and something like Mad Max: Fury Road, the hopes from this guy especially for something like Alita: Battle Angel were too high. The score tries too hard to get heard but never ever could come up to the notice. Maybe because there are a lot of things to see, some things which were supposed to be heard get overshadowed.
Alita: Battle Angel Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Alita: Battle Angel is visual porn, a lot of style with a little bit of substance. Definitely one of the best looking movies to come out from world cinema, and deserves a watch on the biggest and clearest screen possible. Watching this on a small screen will be considered as a sin – smaller the screen, bigger the blasphemy.
Three and a half stars!
Alita: Battle Angel Trailer
Alita: Battle Angel releases on 8th February 2019.
Share with us your experience of watching Alita: Battle Angel.