Alita: Battle Angel, 2019
Signed up the 28/03/2017
It's not often that you get a film that is both a visual spectacle and narratively ground. Alita: Battle Angel serves to reintroduce that much needed balance in the blockbuster realm, through the capable hands and eyes of James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez.
This film is James Cameron's (director of the beloved Avatar movies) passion project, but due to his busy schedule he couldn't quite get to making it for some 10 years now until he made the decision to pass it on to his long-time friend, Rodriguez. These two have contrasting yet similarly grounded techniques and overall view of filmmaking that has afforded us the nuanced story of Alita; that is both visually and emotionally challenging and captivating to the audiences.
Alita (played by the awesome Rosa Salazar) is a warrior who falls from the suspended city above, called Zalem, upon being damaged during a battle. She's later found in a scrapyard of a cyberpunk slum called Iron City, by a determined cyber-doctor Ido (played by Christoph Waltz). Upon Ido putting her back together, Alita finds herself navigating her new life in Iron City, while trying to remember and make sense of her mysterious past.
As with all superhero movies, a zealous force is out to destroy Alita upon realising her unstoppable power. This is where I was impressed the most; a familiar storyline was tipped on its head so simply yet so distinct. Cameron writes Alita as innocent, inquisitive and full of wonder. We want to love and protect her from the corrupt world she's now a part of as much as her surrogate father Ido is eager to. Alita then goes on to savagely gauge eyes out and break necks and any kind of limb she can find at any sign of danger.
She is a weapon, the most lethal one in fact. From this neat little polarising characterisation comes the reward of genuine emotional impact. Alita is not just another hero whose story just happened to fall upon us. No, this movie will stick with you long after you'd left the cinema. She's a reflection of anyone who's ever felt lost and detached from themselves.
This is one of the most human superhero movie I'll probably ever watch, because it not only wants to engage me in its story, it really cares about what it wants to tell me about Alita and her journey of self-discovery by way of adapating to a new system of completely opposite to what she'd previously been used to. She forms relationships, she laughs, she cries, she looses,she loves, she finds herself, and between it all she kicks butt to the fullest extent of the expression.
There are not many movies that have managed to completely draw me in and move me from the beginning to the end without fault. This is a film that deserves to be seen by every single person it can be seen by. So go out there and, well, see it! One more thing; Rosa Salazar!!!
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