Movie Review: Alita: Battle Angel

I wasn’t excited for this since movie adaptions of anime turn out to be pretty bad. I mean, look at Ghost in the Shell! I’m not a big fan of anime, but it deserves more better! The trailers made it look bad. And I got excited when James Cameron would be involved in it. I loved The Terminator, Terminator 2, Aliens, and Avatar! But he was only the producer. So I decided to give this a shot, despite Cameron being the producer. And what did I think of it? Well, this is what Ghost in the Shell should’ve been!

The film follows a female cyborg named Alita who is reactivated and sets out on a journey to find her true self while battling against any other cyborg who stand in her way. This is a deep film that covers a wide range of themes such as female empowerment, personal growth, sacrifice and loss. The world is wonderfully imagined. It’s also incredibly beautiful. In 3D, Alita looks amazing! She’s vibrant and full of life, her skin looks so natural. Some people are moaning about the eyes. But those people are missing the point that Alita isn’t human. The eyes bothered me sometimes, but I got used to it later in the film.

The CGI is amazing. The cyborgs and the world of the Scrapyard looks incredible. Also the effects on Alita, she looked so much better than I expected. She looks and feels so real! I never saw a CG character, the expressions, the moves all she felt look amazing, as good as Thanos in Infinity War if not better at times! Great archived in CGI motion capture right there. Great job! The action is really entertaining. The choreography was excellent, all fights of Alita were amazing, especially with her fight with Grewishka. What’s surprising about this film is that it’s pretty dang violent! They managed to adapt some bits I really never believed they could adapt with a PG-13 rating! The cast is pretty solid. Rosa Salazar as Alita did a great job performing the character. I think this is my favorite performance from her, and I’m looking forward to seeing her in other movies in the future.

The characters were well written. Alita was easily one of the best female protagonists in a film. She starts out as just a simple teenage girl who’s learning her place in the city where her (sort-of) father lives. And it’s pretty funny and even cute to see her interact with all of these new things she’s discovering. It’s the same kind of fish out of water scenario with Wonder Woman and Thor pretty much. Except, you know, more cute. Keean Johnson’s character, Hugo, was also pretty good. They have some decent chemistry together and it actually works just fine.

However, I had some issues with the film. The villians are pretty one note. Like the main villian, Vector. He’s just some big evil guy. I mean, he’s not really a cartoon villian, but I just never found him that interesting. All he does is order a bunch of cyborgs to hunt and kill Alita and help this one big cyborg named Grewishka be rebuilt after being damaged in battle. Heck, he’s barely even the main villian! His plot is mostly that he’s being spoken through like a microphone by some other villian. I’m not too sure if I should be saying this because Anime adaptation, and I never watch or read Manga, so I’m just stating everything in the film as a film. So, I’m not sure. Another is that the plot is a bit convoluted at times. After when I watched the film, I looked up the plot on Wikipedia so I can understand it.

Overall, despite the flaws, I loved this film. It was a huge surprise for me. It’s basically what every anime adaptation should’ve been. It’s a really great film. Even with Cameron as a producer, he did it again! It’s definitely worth checking out. I’m curious to see what a sequel can do. If the film makes its money.

Score: 8/10