Alita: Battle Angel Movie Review


photo courtesy of IMbD

Ben Pegg, Staff Writer

“Alita: Battle Angel” is a cyberpunk action film set in the year 2536 about a cyborg named Alita, and her adventures in attempting to discover who she is and to move from the destroyed wreck of Iron City to the wealthy floating metropolis of Zalem. The movie opens with the main mentor figure finding Alita as a disembodied brain inside a head, which he transplants onto a different body. He allows her to go out and explore, whereupon she meets Hugo, the main hero and love interest. He introduces her to the sport of motorball, a free for all race combat where cyborgs battle to the death. The next day, she recovers a complete and enhanced body, which the good father figure will not install her into. They argue and she leaves. Alita registers as a bounty hunter and goes into a bar. The plan to recruit people for a fight goes sideways almost immediately, and she challenges the whole room to fight her. She wins. Her physical enemy, Grewishka, attacks and shreds her. Having no other choice, the mentor interfaces her with the 2.0 version of herself.

Meanwhile, Hugo is found by another bounty hunter, who frames him for murder, and Alita exits the arena, midrace, to save him. The bounty hunter mortally wounds Hugo and Alita returns him to her father figure, who uploads him to a cyborg body.  He confides that Hugo’s actions were based upon the idea that he could buy his way to Zalem. Alita confronts Grewishka’s boss, who is being mind controlled, and kills both puppet and Grewishka. She then rushes to save Hugo, who is attempting to climb his way to Zalem. He is dismembered, and Alita is unable to save him from falling to his death. Months later, she points her sword at Zalem whilst Nova, the true villain, watches from on high.

It was too radical for my taste, but if you like the genre, then you are where you need to be. The things I liked were the fact that that it was visually appealing, faithful to the original, and that the movie did not feel too irrational. There was actually an explanation for the character’s actions and the thing made sense. The technology was jarring, in that there was no summary about it, which is one of the key differences between science fiction and  fantasy, but it was still good. The visuals were quite good, with even the cyborg parts appearing semi-real, and the only real issue being Alita’s clearly computer-fabricated eyes. The faithfulnes to original is done in wide sweeping strokes. The main characters are all there, the premise is still there, and the setting is all but identical. The only difference between the two is that the original was actually an anime and the reboot is live action.  I would recommend this movie if you like cyberpunk, or drama, and are unafraid of a little gore.