Movie Review: Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

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Summary: A deactivated cyborg is revived but cannot remember anything of her past life and goes on a quest to find out who she is.
This will be a short review.
Pros:
The Acting/Potentially Interesting Characters. This section is very different than how I normally do it but I couldn’t quite just say “cast and characters” because while I thought the acting was good for the most part, I wasn’t all that invested in most of these characters.
  • Rosa Salazar as “Ali” Alita / 99 and she’s cute. It’s clear she loves the character and the source material, especially after watching interviews, but Alita definitely starts out with that “fish out of water” thing because this world is new to her. As the film continues, her confidence grows and she starts to put things in motion on her own, or at least things get set into motion that requires her to make some choices. I think Alita is likable and like Rosa Salazar’s energy as Alita.
  • Christoph Waltz as Dr. Dyson Ido. Definitely one of the best actors in the film. He’s  a cyborg scientist, Alita’s father figure and other secrets. His character has a lot of techno babble in places, and he spends most of the movie worrying over Alita, making sure she’s safe, because she’s special and all that. He gets to have some cool moments and there are cool revelations but his character doesn’t get that much to do honestly.
  • Mahershala Ali as Vector. He’s a great actor and I thought he was wasted for the most part. He has some really good moments; I like when he switches personalities and even his line delivery when he pops up with those blue eyes. I actually just wish he was the main main villain anyway. I’ll always like him though lol.
  • Ed Skrein as Zapan. He gets introduced early but we don’t meet him until halfway through. He’s arrogant, wields a sword and a bounty hunter. He tries to sweet talk Alita, when she joined the Hunter-Warriors because I mean she’s cool but then he spends the rest of the movie, angry. Ed Skrein clearly had fun in this role, he’s very dynamic to watch when he’s on screen. He has this really annoying charm and I’m like “UGH, I hate your character but you’re just so good” lol. That works for him lol.
Special Effects. One of the best things about this movie is how the action sequences and how the world looks. It’s set in the future and so technology and machines have become even more integrated into the world. There are cyborgs, machines that police the streets and tons of other things. It’s cool. I think all of the cyborgs we see, no matter how intense their cybernetic look is, they look mostly real. There are times when it’s just too odd and they look like disembodied heads, which I guess that’s how it is lol, but for the most part it’s good. Plus, how Alita moves, and her body, especially when she gets her fancy body is very realized from the manga the film is adapted from.
Great Action Sequences. The action sequences in this film are really good. They’re choreographed really well and I bet it as amazing on the big screen. There are a couple of scenes that stand out in general. The entire sequence that starts from the bar. I don’t want to say how it ends because it’s a spoiler lol but that was probably the best choreographed and edited fight. I was really into that. Also, the sequence afterthe motor ball at the end was also really cool too. Being that Alita’s history is in fighting and what not, so seeing her fully embrace that is pretty dope.
Cons:
Really Long. Y’all this movie is 122 minutes, which is 2 hours and some change, barely, but it felt so much longer than that. I thought it ended like two times and when it kept going, I was like “oh there’s more… okay.” You can argue they might have been gearing up for a sequel and sure, I’d see it but it just crammed so much into the film and then it feels like nothing happened in the end. I’m just so confused by it. There is so much we get told and then stuff happens, and then more talking and it goes like that for a while. I honestly checked out a few times. I don’t mind long movies, but don’t be long for the sake of being long. This is why, I feel like this would be a good live action television show, along the lines of Dark Angel.
Not Enough Interesting Characters. Outside of the fact that I like some of the actors in the movie, I didn’t find many of the characters that interesting. Alita is cool and everything but there wasn’t much about her that made me really like her. Then her love interest Hugo, I really didn’t care about him either. I didn’t quite like the actor all that much but he didn’t have a ton to work with I thought. Not to mention, Dr. Ido and then Dr. Chiren, I mean there’s a lot of potentially interesting characters but I don’t think the movie succeeded in making me care about them at all.
The Motorball Stuff. Other than the fact that it’s cool, there’s no reason for this stuff to be in the film because every time we went to those sequences, I was like “ugh”. I’m more interested in seeing her figure out this mystery of her life and other stuff, I don’t care about this Quidditch game (I like Quidditch lol I’m just saying lol). She already registered as a Hunter-Warrior, if she wanted to get money to help Hugo, then why didn’t she just do that since she made such a big deal about becoming one?
Overall, Alita: Battle Angelis a fun movie. I think the action sequences and the look of the film are really top notch and I was really into it for those things. The acting is good across the board, some definitely do the heavy lifting and there are a lot of good actors in this movie and I think that’s one of the biggest downfalls of the movie. So much talent but the writing is okay and the characters are not interesting to merit such good acting. It’s sad really and I was not invested in any of these characters. It also feels really long with so much crammed into it which leads into my issue with the motorball stuff. There are side plots that pop up that just are there with some intentions but they just show up randomly. It’s fun to watch but don’t think about it too hard lol.
Rating: 3.3 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Alita: Battle Angel? What are your thoughts on it? Do you think it would serve better as a television show? Respond in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
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