My movie and TV reviews are spoiler free, I’ll only give away what is in the trailers. The comments are the wild wild west, anything goes there.
It’s a week late, but I finally got to go see Alita: Battle Angel. I went in to the movie knowing basically nothing about the series, and learned from the trailers that Alita was a robot found in the junkyard by Christoph Waltz. This is an ambitious movie, way too ambitious to do the world building justice. The movie makers should have attempted a smaller story for the movie. Right now there is a lot going on to bring the viewer up to steam, which distracts from the story arc.
The movie takes place in Iron City, which is below a floating city named Zalem. Apparently, keeping your limbs is quite a challenge in the city since it seems that almost everyone is a cyborg with synthetic limbs. Instead of the gladiators in the coliseum, the people of Iron City watch a game called motor ball. It is some sort of roller derby with a lot more destruction.
The cast is top notch, I’ll watch anything with Christoph Waltz in it (even Downsizing). The actor who plays the love interest Hugo is meh, and the don’t give Jennifer Connolly enough. She’s great with what’s given, but her talents are wasted. That’s not the biggest disappointment though, that honor goes to Jackie Earle Haley.
For those that may not remember, Jackie Earle Haley was incredible as Rorschach in Watchmen. Here? I didn’t even realize he was in it until I saw the credits.
Most of the special effects are great, but the insertion of Alita is jarring in several scenes. You don’t get a sense of physicality from her, just CGI. The more normal looking human cyborgs look great, but as the cyborgs look more and more like robots, the uncanny valley sets in and pulls me a little bit out of the movie. Alita’s big eyes didn’t distract me as much as the rest of her CGI created body.
I’m redoing my ratings system for movies starting with this one. Instead of giving a number or a star, I’m going to give a “should you watch it” and if so, where? Alita: Battle Angel is rated Matinee, go see it on the big screen, but don’t bother with the price of an evening showing.