Movie Review - Alita: Battle Angel

MegaSoulhero It cannot be a coincidence that I drove through a lightning storm to see this movie on a Thursday just like I did for Escape Room in December. It’s apparently a sign that I’m about to watch a bad movie. Alita: Battle Angel is a movie based on the popular manga. The movie is written and produced by James Cameron and directed by Robert Rodriquez. Despite never having read the manga, I was looking forward to this. Apparently, the movie was announced 16 years ago. The release date also got pushed back at least 3 times. So now that I saw it before all of you, I’m get to tell you why I thought this movie was absolutely horrible.

This movie takes place in the 26th century where there’s a cyborg named Alita who was found in a junkyard by a doctor and lost her memory and tries to adapt to the world and wants to become a warrior. She also meets a guy named Hugo who steals robotic parts for money. I might as well start with the only thing I liked about this film. And that’s Alita. I think she’s a very cool and relatable character. I actually found her motivations to be believable. I actually cared about her and wanted her to make it out of situations alive. There is this one problem I have with her character, which I’ll get to, but I really thought she was very likeable. So why didn’t I like this movie if I like the main character? It’s because of EVERYTHING ELSE THAT HAPPENS AROUND HER!!! This is one of the most frustrating movies I’ve ever seen! It has a good concept, it has good ideas, but it completely fails in almost every single way! It felt like it was too focused on setting up a sequel that it lost focus on trying to make it a good movie on it own! There are tons of things that aren’t explained! There are a couple of moments where we see glimpses of Alita’s backstory, but the movie never goes deep into those. Because of how much it’s trying to set up, it feels very crowded. I didn’t even know what was going on half the time. This also leads to the movie being very rushed in certain scenes. They have one thing going on and then it quickly cuts to the next thing. It does this constantly.

The movie does the whole cliché with a non-human character falling in love with a human. I didn’t not find their relationship genuine or interesting. It felt very forced. Mahershala Ali is the villain of the film and he is very bland. One of the most uninteresting villains I’ve seen in a long time. Sure, he looks cool, but he’s just so boring. There’s also Jennifer Connelly who doesn’t really do much. She just appears in scenes and doesn’t really contribute a lot. Such a waste. Does the movie at least have good visual effects. No. No it doesn’t. The CGI is so ridiculously bad. Especially when looking at it next to the real actors and sets. Alita just looks like a cartoon character most of the time. There are also characters that have a live action face but have a full CGI robotic body. It’s hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. I can not believe these designs got green lit. This also kinda ruins the action scenes for me. They’re well choreographed, but they don’t look real at all. They’re very CGI heavy. Speaking of the action scenes, that one major problem I have with Alita (the character) is that she never has a moment where she feels like she won’t win the battle because this movie goes out of its way to make her so over-powered. I don’t know if she’s like that in the manga, but they made her a little too perfect.

Alita: Battle Angel is hands down the worst thing James Cameron has worked on. It’s a mess both story-wise and visually. This is another example of why manga/anime doesn’t translate well into live action. Sad thing is this was actually the best attempt at doing it. Still, it’s just 16 years of production down the drain. Do not see this movie.

Score: 3/10


It looks good - iliekpiez

Everyone else in the screening I went to seemed to like it. Maybe I was just in a bad mood. - MegaSoulhero

You're not alone MegaSoulHero. Many people do hate Alita: Battle Angel for the exact reasons you'd said. I have many of the reasons you stated, but I did enjoy the action so much. This movie was such as dumb expensive mess, and the movie thinks that it's so believable. I've ignored many of the issues and focused more on the action.
I'll say that it's a 6/10. - visitor

When will your review for HTTYD 3 come out? - nicolasb5194

I don’t like how Alita’s eyes are big. Was it really necessary to make her eyes big? - visitor

It seems like there's two sides to James Cameron. On one, you get Terminator 2 and Total Recall. One the other, you get Avatar. - iliekpiez