Alita: Battle Angel hurls you into a beautiful, fast paced world. It’s exciting, entertaining, and aesthetically pleasing. The underlying story is a mildly intriguing mystery, reminiscent of other post-future-war adaptations. However, the movie plays out more like a scattered elevator pitch for what it could have been. 6/10
In a world where trilogies are far too common, I’m not one to advocate for another. However, the telling of this story could have benefitted from slowing down. They created a gigantic, gorgeous world that I would have loved to explore; It’s clearly filled with rules and a rich history. Unfortunately, these world building structures are barely shared with the audience. Instead, we get a movie that is reminiscent of a kid retelling a story with extreme enthusiasm. It’s charming, but the kid misses out on core details and skips right to the fun. It all makes me wonder: What could have been? I would love to see one film on getting acquainted with Alita, the world, and her core relationships, one movie centering around the big-bad Vector with a twist setting us up for a third and final chapter with Nova pulling the strings.
There is a pretty tremendous cast rounding out the film. However, no one is allowed to do enough with his/her character. Did the writers struggle, or were the details and character building scenes left on the cutting room floor? You can put Mahershala Ali, Christoph Waltz, or Jennifer Connelly in any movie and I’ll wish they had more screen time, but this was robbery. Don’t even get me started on Edward Norton.
The older I get, the less interested I am in over the top action sequences. Lately, I find them more boring than exhilarating. Going into Alita, I braced myself. I was certain that there were going to be extended fight sequences and chaotic action rampaging throughout the film. I was pleasantly surprised. No scene extended beyond its welcome. Unfortunately, some of that film real estate would have been better served by more story and more character building as I mentioned earlier.
It may sound like I’m bashing the film at this point, but I really did enjoy my time with it. You better believe it will be making its way into my collection. Despite the flaws, I was captivated. It was a blast to watch and I’m looking forward to a sequel. Perhaps the next installment can help the (inevitable) franchise live up to its potential.