Robert Rodriguez where have you been? It’s been too long since I’ve seen that Troublemaker logo on a new movie in theaters. Word on the street is that he was a big fan of the Alita manga, and he’d asked James Cameron (who had the rights) for a status update. Cameron of course is busy with Avatar, so he told Rodriguez that if he could write it, he could shoot it. Thus, Robert got his first $100+ million budget studio film.
Set in the far distant distopian future, a doctor (Christoph Waltz) who specializes in cybernetic prosthetics finds the remains of a female cyborg. He revives her and they soon find out that despite her missing memory, there’s something powerful about her and her mysterious origins.
I kind of loved this. The film looks incredible. With Cameron and his incredible technology as a mentor, the special effects here are stunning. Despite being all mo-cap, Alita looks very real. The world around her looks real. The fight choreography is breath taking. I was absorbed in this world immediately.
The other thing that pulled me in immediately were the characters. I fell in love with Alita and her pseudo father and her love interest, basically all within their first few minutes on screen. The doctor is just so compassionate and smart, plus any movie is always better when it has Christoph Waltz. And Alita’s big eyes were full of such wonder and joy and goodness, I couldn’t help but feel it all with her.
I did have a few issues with the writing. The dialog was a little cheesy and parts of the story were predictable or a little too rushed. I didn’t care though. The previous things I mentioned were strong enough that I was in.
Oh and as a bonus, while this may be a little different from Rodriguez’ usual scrappy and gritty style, there were a few of his signatures. The one I was happiest to see: minority representation. He had a beautifully colorful cast. Pay close attention, and you might also notice some of his previous collaborators in unexpected roles.
This film was predicted to be the first mega million bomb of the year, but I sincerely hope that isn’t the case. The word of mouth has been good, and I truly do think this is one that’s worth your time. Something fun to tide you over until summer blockbuster season
Alita: Battle Angel – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/