Alita: Battle Angel
Alita: Battle Angel is a cyberpunk sci-fi entertainer directed by Robert Rodriguez, who had earlier given Sin City, and produced by James Cameron.
This movie was planned by Cameron in 2000 and even took copyright of the title. In 2003, it was officially announced by Cameron, but couldn’t able to work on it due to Avatar movie and its sequels. After 13 years, Robert Rodriguez had been officially named as director of this live action manga movie. James Cameron had limited his role to screenplay and production. The movie is produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau.
It is one of the best live-action adaptations of Manga (Japanese comics or graphic novels) on the big screen, in recent times. Battle Angel Alita named as Gunnm (Gun Dream) was created by Yukito Kishiro in 1990. The series was aired between 1990 to 1995 and had 9 volumes in it.
The movie stars with the year 2563 after a war known as “The Fall”, that devasted the earth. Here, Doctor Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz), who specializes in repairing half-human cyborgs using scavenged parts, finds the remnants of a former robot that has a human brain among the waste in the iron city. The female cyborg was half dead and half active and the doctor brings her back to life. He gives her the name “Alita”. The successful surgery had the unfortunate effects of amnesia, causing the young teen to be a little lost girl in Iron City.
Alita is initially unaware of her bloodthirsty past and soon starts emoting like a normal human teenager, even developing a crush on the young junk-dealer Hugo (Keean Johnson). In fact, during the course of the narrative, Alita seeks to cure her amnesia and figure out precisely who she is and what is her purpose in life. The movie also deals with the death sport Motorball tournament and shows how Alita as a hunter warrior performs in the tournament.
Rosa Salazar shines as Alita, bringing the character to life. She adds determination and formidable strength to the role. Other characters like Mahershala Ali as the ruler of Zalem is limited to his performance and asusal Christoph Waltz acts genuinely the film, but could have been given more role in the film. The others who performed in the supporting roles are Jennifer Connelly as Ido’s ex-wife Chiren, Keean Johnson as Hugo, Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as his friend and Jackie Earle Harley as the killer cyborg Grewishka. They all did their part adding glory to the screen space in the film.
The movie has more martial arts combat and it starts taking place in less than first 30 minutes. The animation and Visual effects are so lavish and rich and it takes the movie to the different level. The visual effects are done by Weta Digital, DNEG and Framestore. They had used mo-cap technology for the character Alita for rendering the face to most expressive digital face and had been the first feature film to do so.
The plot is simple but made complex with sub-plots that include warfare, a mysterious past, a teen romance, a glimpse of a war on the moon and a deadly tournament called “Motorball”. The only flaw in this movie is poor narrative and sloppy storyline. And despite its flaws, it is a wildly exciting and entertaining cyberpunk spectacle. The movie can be regarded as one time watchable mainly due to the technical work that has been done and standing tall and superior as unmatched one. This film is on its own standard and so don’t compare with James Cameron’s other big films. This film is on its way and added a significant adaption of the manga series.
The film also stars Edward Norton as a non speaking Nova character that may lead to the sequel and as James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez hinted Alita: Battle Angel 2 maybe on its way.
rating : 3/5