Review: ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL – Tons of Heart But Not Much Else

Alita: Battle Angel is about a young cyborg girl who lost her memory. The film is about her discovering who she is. With the help of her friends, she realizes that she is the key to saving the world.

Rosa Salazar stars as the titular character. She’s able to play this warm and innocent girl, but in an instant turn into an unbeatable fighting machine. The entire cast does well with what they’re given. Christoph Waltz (Dr. Dyson), Jennifer Connelly (Chiren), Mahershala Ali (Vector) and deliver solid performances. However, I wish there were given better material to work with.

Narrative-wise the film is a bit of a mess. It lacks focus, and if you’re not paying attention, you can get lost very easily. At times feels like it doesn’t know what story they want to tell. We spend a fourth of the film with Alita and Dr. Dyson and Hugo [played by Keenan Johnson] discovering her past. Then we do a 180° and turn into a full-blown action-adventure flick. The change is pretty drastic. The film always feels like it’s holding back. As if they want to save some plot points for a sequel. Unfortunately, it makes this film lack the extra depth needed to make this a worthwhile experience.

I do not standby in the presence of evil!


The character of Alita is the film’s strength. She wants to become Hunter Warrior [this world’s term for policemen]. She truly has the heart of a hero and is a great protagonist. Alita is strong. At times she’s too strong, but that’s what adds a certain charm to her character.

Alita: Battle Angel is visually stunning and it’s a world that I want to see more from. This film lacks the focus and story to keep me invested. 

3/5 Stars

Directed by Robert Rodriguez (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) and produced by James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar), Alita: Battle Angel is set several centuries in the future. The abandoned Alita is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido, a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic. When Alita awakens, she has no memory of who she is, nor does she have any recognition of the world she finds herself in. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious past.

Watch Alita: Battle Angel in theaters now.

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