Updated: Sep 15, 2019
Alita: Battle Angel – 2019 – Sci-Fi, Action
I cannot help but think that a) the person who made the trailer was highly skilled at their job and b) I have only seen a heavily edited version of the film and James Cameron as Producer is going to bring out a three-hour cut next year or in the far future when he has finished poncing about with Avatar 2 through to 421.
So lets address these two points, the trailer contains clips from the film and says what the film is about through these clips, but I think I have watched a different film than the one advertised. I expected a sci-fi war flick with action galore – and do not get me wrong it has lots of action and action really well done. But I have just watched a teenage angst film mixed in with this as well and that took up a heck of a lot of the two-hour run time. Alita: Hormone Crisis was a main player in this film. Which is impressive as she as a ‘hard body’ a complete cyborg, with a human brain but without the hormone producing capabilities needed for some of the angst.
Point b), whilst the first hour and forty minutes contained lots of action scenes mixed in with the teenage nonsense, it saved the fight against the Big Bad and the fact that Alita had a huge mission ahead of her to the last twenty minutes. Now, I know that there are planned sequels, but it all seemed incredibly rushed at the end. And the likelihood of sequels being made are very slim with the business done by this film – which is a huge shame.
That might seem strange, me writing that it would be a huge shame after my first couple of paragraphs, but the film had some excellent moments, quality actors and great ideas. The CGI fights between the cyborgs were visually magnificent, they took the classic idea of Rollerball and made it even more murderous for the Motorball scenes. Rosa Salazar creates an innocence about her killer cyborg Alia that is both believable and endearing, Christopher Waltz plays a good guy, now I know that is a easy to believe as the fact that we will ever finally see Avatar 2, but he does and he plays is superbly. He is an outstanding actor and proves so once again here. Mahershala Ali was obviously taking part in his costume audition for his Blade role as all of his outfits were so Bladeesque I wondered what film I was watching sometimes. Jennifer Connelly was sadly underused, and Ed Norton appeared at the end, not sure if we will ever see him again, but he has another IMDB credit to his name and probably a nice pay cheque.
This film has huge potential and it is only partially lived up to here. I would love to see what more could be created from this fantastical world but hopefully Alita has grown out of her puberty stage by the time they get there.
An I really think this film could have got a 17/20 but at the moment I am going to give it a 12.5/20. But think I may change my mind with a rewatch.