Rob Reviews "Alita: Battle Angel"
While a fan of most things geek, I only know the manga “Gunnm” by its main character, Alita. Also known as “Battle Angel Alita,” it is the latest print property (switched up as “ Alita: Battle Angel”) that has been brought to the big screen boasting heavyweights like Robert Rodriguez in the director’s chair, James Cameron producing and assisting with the storytelling process, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Michelle Rodriguez, Jackie Earle Haley, and even Casper Van Dien, and with the opportunity to check this out in the Dolby Vision and Cinema experience, there should be no margin for error here. Right?
Well, let’s set this up: Alita (played by Rosa Salazar) is a cyborg found in a scrapyard in the twenty-sixth century by Dr. Dyson Ido (Waltz), who is a doctor that specializes in keeping robotic parts working for the residents of Iron City. Under the watchful eye of the floating city of Zalem, the final city left after an event known as The Fall, the citizens of Iron City live a life of simple means but at the same time deal with crime, bounty hunters, and scavengers. With a mysterious past that she pieces together a little at a time, Alita finds out how important she is to both sides and cities.
It’s good to know that this film is actually based on three different storylines from the manga series because there is A LOT going on here for a two hour and two minute run time. That is not to say that the amount of talent involved here is wasted in any way: this is just one of those films that you cannot have on in the background or even take a bathroom break during without missing things that are important to what comes later. Perhaps this would be better served as at least two films (and does leave itself open to do so) to further flesh out its cast of characters and even the Rollerball-type game that is central to its plot, but it is still serviceable to do what it sets out to do in telling a very rich tale that is supplemented by some simply awesome visuals from Weta.
Given that this is also the largest budget that Rodriguez has ever had to deal with along with the collaboration with Cameron each and every step of the way, it is a safe bet that there would be a wow factor to the visuals and shooting style. By using practical sets as much as possible, there is a gravity to complement Rodriguez’s vision for the film that makes everything work well together. The cast is what is to be expected from them, especially given the amount of them that you see in the film’s MANY trailers, and combine that with the Dolby Vision AND 3-D that we were priviliged to be a part of, I don’t have any real complaints about “Alita: Battle Angel”. Simply leave your brain at the door, cheer on the action, and let this film take you away.