Movie Review: Alita – Battle Angel

Cyborg Girl 01  Hello all, and welcome to my review of Alita: Battle Angel! 😀

Alita - Battle Angel Poster  Starring: Rosa Salazar (Alita), Christoph Waltz (Dr. Dyson Ido), Keean Johnson (Hugo), Jennifer Connelly (Chiren), Mahershala Ali (Vector), Ed Skrein (Zapan), Jackie Earle Haley (Grewishka)

Plot (taken from IMDb):

“A deactivated female cyborg is revived, but cannot remember anything of her past life and goes on a quest to find out who she is.”

Trailer:

Characters:

Rosa Salazar (Alita) – A unique mix of naive, innocent, and completely badass. There are so many touching, human moments throughout the movie, and then a switch flips and suddenly she’s throwing herself into a no holds barred battle to the death. I absolutely love her!

Christoph Waltz (Dr. Dyson Ido) – A man with a complicated fatherly type relationship with Alita. It’s clear how much he cares about her, even early on. He’s also a cybernetic doctor/surgeon. 

Keean Johnson (Hugo) – A complicated character who makes decisions that had me mentally yelling at the screen while in the theater. Why, Hugo?! WHY?!?!

Jennifer Connelly (Chiren) – Dr. Ido’s ex wife, complicated in her own ways. She also makes poor decisions, based on her situation. At first I didn’t like her all that much, but she eventually redeemed herself in my eyes.

Mahershala Ali (Vector) – I love to hate this man. He’s one of those arrogant, convinced he’s invincible type of villains, with absolutely no loyalty to anyone but himself. 

Ed Skrein (Zapan) – I also love to hate him. He falls into the same category as Vector, completely full of himself and way too convinced that he’s untouchable. He also seems obsessed with how pretty he thinks he is. 

Jackie Earle Haley (Grewishka) – This guy just seemed to enjoy being evil and being able to crush anyone who tried to stand up against him. He’s a nasty bad guy, but he’s more of a pawn to the other two baddies. Although, one of the deaths he’s responsible for shoots him up to the top of the list of characters I’d most like to set on fire. You’ll know it when you get there. 

Alita - Battle Angel 05

Review:

This was a fun roller coaster of serious moments, deadly battles, and oddly cute, touching moments. At times, Alita seemed almost childlike in the way she interacted with the world around her, probably partially due to her memory loss, only to throat punch someone a few minutes later. 

Alita - Battle Angel 03

The relationships she starts building, pretty much as soon as Dr. Ido rebuilds her, are all really very sweet. Complicated (I keep using that word with good reason), but sweet. 

Alita - Battle Angel 06

Which leads me into my favorite part of all movies (when applicable) – the romance!! Yaaaaaay! 

Alita - Battle Angel 01

It’s complicated. 

Lol, the whole thing between Alita and Hugo is adorable, but Hugo is a bit of a bad boy. Sort of. Or maybe he just makes really poor life decisions. Either way – Why, Hugo?! WHY?!?!

But Alita sees the good in him, and loves him, flaws and all. She’s never shy about showing it, either. She even offers him her heart. Literally.   

Alita - Battle Angel 08

I’m not sure about the people in the floating city, you only see 3 of them in this movie, but a good portion of the population on the ground have had parts of their bodies replaced with cybernetic parts. There seems to be a little strain between regular humans and modified humans, but this movie doesn’t get into that very much. 

Alita - Battle Angel 02

Everyone in this world seems to have secrets too, some of which you won’t see coming. Others, you’ll suspect, and really hope you’re wrong. 

The world in this movie is so dark. Everyone living on the ground below the floating city seems desperate to get out, and find a way up to the floating city. Everyone’s scrounging, trying to scrape by, and only really looking out for themselves for the most part. Meanwhile, the city above dumps their garbage down on them, and no one from there ever ventures down.

The only way to get up there seems to be through this world’s version of rollerball. They’re encouraged to crush each other if that’s what it takes to win. 

Alita - Battle Angel 07

I absolutely loved the battle scenes, and while I don’t remember them being particularly bloody (everything flew by so fast it was hard to tell – sometimes literally), the fights were brutal. I joke about limbs and organs flying everywhere when I’m reviewing horror movies, but this movie seriously had tons of that, sprinkled in between all the cute moments with Alita and some of the other characters.

Alita: Battle Angel

At one point someone breaks an arm off in someone else’s eye socket. 

Yep. Brutal. 

Alita doesn’t pull any punches. As innocent as she is, she’s pretty much a one woman army when she gets mad. I love that she never backs down.

Alita - Battle Angel 04

The movie does a good job of keeping you guessing as to whether she was good or bad before she lost her memories too. There’s a question as to her origins, and why she was thrown away, and only some of that is explained.

She’s always very clear about where she stands now, however.

Alita - Battle Angel 11

If I have one complaint about this movie, it’s that while it can stand alone, you definitely get the feeling a few times that you’re missing something if you haven’t read the graphic novels. Any time there’s an adaptation from book to movie, there’s usually a little of that regardless. It doesn’t really take away from the movie though. 

Honestly, the only thing that could really screw this up is if they don’t make a sequel. It ends on a fairly dramatic note, with some loose ends unaddressed, and some assess still needing kicked. 

Seriously, there is one character in particular who still needs an arm broken off in their eye socket. Just saying. 

Alita - Battle Angel 10

My rating for Alita – Battle Angel: Epic – This is the kind of movie that’s right up my alley, and I absolutely loved it. Like I said though, it really, really needs a sequel. I heard they originally planned on doing 3 Alita movies, and I hope that’s true. Definitely check this one out if you like movies like Ghost in the Shell, Appleseed, or dark, futuristic type stories with cyborgs. 😀 

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My Rating System:

Epic: This movie is so mind-bogglingly awesome that I may go see it twice. This one will have a place of honor on my shelf.

Cash-Worthy: Good stuff. This will most likely find a place on my shelf.

Not Bad: I liked it. I’m glad I saw it, and it may or may not end up on my shelf at some point. I would say rent it first to be safe.

Meh: Rent it first. You may love it or hate it, but I’m indifferent probably because it’s not my type of movie. I’m glad I saw it, but it won’t end up on my shelf.

Emergency Cake: I have an emotional reaction to movies sometimes, especially to tragedies. If a movie makes me sad or angry, sometimes it will stick with me for a while. At these times, only chocolate cake can save me. Chocolate cake makes everything better. No shelf for you. Ever.

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10 thoughts on “Movie Review: Alita – Battle Angel

  1. disperser says:

    Hey, what do you know . . . we agree on a movie rating. Then again, this is primarily an action movie so it’s right up there in my book.

    The only complaint I have is that they crammed so much in the two hours that it makes it difficult to accept the bonds that were created seemingly right from the first few moments.

    As you said, if one is not familiar with the story, it’s . . . well, rushed is a good word but hurried is a better description.

    I do wish they would have planned it as three movies. They certainly had material and footage for two movies and I’m surprised they didn’t follow through on their supposed dedication to the source material.

    In that regard, it would be nice if they release the DVD with all the cut material, especially since I doubt there will be a sequel because the movie (while doing not bad) isn’t doing well enough for the purse strings to be loosened. The hope is that the foreign market will pick up the slack but even then, it’s dicey.

    Too bad that.

    And, I have to wonder if in part it’s because it’s rushed. While the action scenes satisfy the low-brow audience (me) it’s not enough for the broader audience seeking to connect with the character(s).

    In that regard, I think they could have done a better job of developing the relationships and introducing us to the characters even at the expense of a few action scenes.

    I might have told the story a bit differently to accomplish the same goal but I’m not a director so what do I know.

    I’m undecided about buying the movie because I’m not sure how often I’d rewatch it. Unlike Hitman, which I still throw up on the screen every few months.

    Overall, I like the movie but only because I knew the source material. Melisa liked it as well but many parts were lost on her because she didn’t have the same foundation of the story I had. And not to the same level I did. Also, the main character — given the rushed pacing — undergoes too many flip-flops of emotions/anger/emotion/rage/fierceness/etc. in a compressed span of time for there to be much chance of connecting with any one part of her character.

    Plus, you know, I think they blew the ending.

    Complaints:
    – Ido finds her atop some rubble 300 years after the rebellion. I would think she would be buried under many layers of rubble.
    – her heart being that valuable, why would she had been discarded in the first place?
    – finding the suit seemed a stretch as far as the plot as presented.
    – Ido not wanting her to have the suit didn’t make sense in the context of the movie (she went up against killers and planned to continue doing so).
    – Hugo racing up to the city didn’t make any sense (as it’s shown in the movie).
    – it’s unclear if Nova can inhabit anyone or just underlings (an implant?). As presented, it’s anyone so he could inhabit Ido or even Alita (unless I missed something, which is possible).
    – Chiren is supposed to be smart but she doesn’t act smart (and pays the price). That part annoyed me.
    – Inconsistency . . . we are told that Alita and her suit are pretty much invincible. But, many Alita-type warriors didn’t fare all that well during the revolution. Plus, her ability to inflict damage varies significantly.
    – Minor annoyance: she had her wonder-suit that adapts and heals . . . yet Ido makes her a pair of skate-feet. To me, they seemed the weak link of the whole get-up.
    – Minor annoyance: mass matters. I don’t care how strong her heart is; her adversaries were much larger and mechanized. Physics holds. Less of a problem once she has the wonder-sword (and it pissed me off she didn’t drab it right off the bat).
    – Minor annoyance: Either have a proper romance or none at all. Something in between didn’t work for me.
    – Minor annoyance: she destroys the enforcers (or whatever those were). Are they not replaced? isn’t she now wanted and with a bounty on her head?

    There are a few more things that bothered me while I watched the movie. And that’s the thing; I wouldn’t care as much if it hit me after the movie but these thoughts intruded during the movie.

    Still, a great ride and one I would recommend despite the obvious (and annoying) 3D scenes (I watched it in 2D).

    I’m hoping for a sequel but I’m not holding my breath.

  2. paigeaddams says:

    Totally agreed – it did have a rushed feel to it, both in the relationships and in the timeline and how things progressed. If there is extra footage out there, I want to see it! I’d love for some of those gaps to be filled in a little better. The rushed feeling also led to certain things feeling too convenient. You’ve read the graphic novels? Were they good? I haven’t read them yet, but this movie definitely makes me want to!

    Lol, and I had the exact same thought about the skate-feet. I was worried when she went into battle with them. Lol, part of me thought her super-feet would be stolen, since there’s all kinds of body part thievery happening all over the place.

    And, admittedly, I did want a lot more out of the romance. It’s not just that it felt rushed. I also really needed more time for Hugo to redeem himself, and for me to get more emotionally invested in their relationship. He came off as really foolish too, especially when he gets the brilliant idea to climb up that metal cable by himself. *sigh* Why, Hugo?! WHY?!?!

    Don’t quote me on this, but I *think* Nova can only inhabit people with implants. How and why anyone would get one of these implants isn’t explained though. Maybe it’s only people involved in the rollerball thing? Or people otherwise in his employ? I’m not sure on that one though. You’re right though – if he could inhabit anyone, he could just take Alita over and walk her right into his office to be killed.

    With that ending, I’m going to be *seriously* pissed if they don’t do a sequel. Sooooo many things were left open-ended. How and why she was dumped. Revenge for Hugo. What happened to Chiren’s remains? (I was mad too when she got bumped off.) She could have been made a cyborg from what was left. More info on the war 300 years ago and why the floating cities were bad. Who the heck Nova is. *cough, cough* finding Hugo’s miraculously intact brain so he can come back and not be an idiot *cough* There’s so much left to cover!

    • disperser says:

      I haven’t read the manga but I had watched this:

      • paigeaddams says:

        It’s so sad!! Why, Hugo?! WHY?! I think this ending feels a lot more hopeless than the live action version too. Lol, I need emergency cake now.

      • disperser says:

        Hugo is a flawed human . . . robots (mechs in general) are much better.

        Did you notice how all the partially mechanized humans seemed a lot more stable emotionally (be they good or bad guys) than wholly human characters?

        Basically, humans are massively flawed and we’ll all be better off as a race once we replace stuff with good ole mechanical systems.

    • disperser says:

      This is an interesting commentry:

      • paigeaddams says:

        Lol, and now I have to track down all the mangas. I really do like that he says she grows so much throughout the series. I seriously hope they continue with the movies too.

      • disperser says:

        They are in Amazon. If you are in Amazon Prime, the first one is free to read. There’s an Amazon membership you can buy that gives you access to all sorts of comics and Manga.

  3. disperser says:

    Also, if you have Amazon Prime, I think the manga is included with the membership (I’ll have to check).

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