Alita: Battle Angel is a cyberpunk science fiction film set several hundred years in the future. With screenplay penned by legendary filmmaker James Cameron, the movie is based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga series Gunnm, also known as Battle Angel Alita.
The film is about a cyborg, Alita who is discovered in the scrapyard by doctor Ido. Once revived by Ido, Alita has no recollection of her past life but she does owns fierce fighting skills. What follows next is her quest to learn about her herself and the mysterious Nova who controls the sky city of Zalem.
The crown jewel of the film is Alita herself played by Rosa Salazar. She carries the entire momentum of the plot with brilliance. Christoph Waltz as doctor Ido grabs the attention as a doc with skills to fix broken cyborgs. He portrays compassion and curiosity with ease. Though the story is muddled by an uneven plotline, it is Rosa and Christoph who carry it forward.
And of course, you can’t deny the eye popping visual effects. James Cameron who is an expert in everything related to robots has created an authentic city that is flooded by towering shanty skylines, grumbling pipes and slums, and cyborg-beings, who are a mix of human flesh, cogs and wheels.
Perhaps the brilliance of the visuals reached a whole new feat when Alita takes part in ‘motor ball racing’ where roller skaters have to skate through a twisting and a looping track carrying a ball to reach the finish line.
The direction and the action choreography as Alita fights through the race, dodging blows from fellow cyborg skaters is sure to leave you asking for more. Accompanied by soul stirring music by Tom Holkenborg, certain scenes create a sense of awe and wonder.
But unfortunately though, the plot is muddled by an unbalanced rhythm, which is to say that the movie could have come up with a stronger antagonist and reduced the unnecessary drag in the second half. Also, the antagonist’s role is played by someone you would least expect.
With hint for a sequel, the possibility of it gearing up lies perhaps in this film’s ability to mint millions in the box office.