(This is Alita: Battle Angel film review, which is a 2019 Hollywood cyberpunk film that is based on the Japanese manga Gunnm)
Yes, we know what you guys are thinking: HER EYES! Those are perhaps some of the most realistic anime eyes I have ever seen in a film. It seems Hollywood is going in another direction as it strives to follow the original source as close as possible, right up to the eyes! This film, based on the manga Gunnm by Yukito Kishiro, took them 20 years to realise and is directed by Robert Rodiguez, who is famous for El Mariachi and Spy Kids series. James Cameron is one of the writers and also a producer of the film. Besides that, it stars Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, and Jennifer Connely. Without further ado, let’s delve down into the Alita: Battle Angel film review below!
In the year 2563, 300 years after the “The Fall”, a doctor scientist picks up a cyborg with a fully intact human brain from the junkyard. After fixing her, she realises that she has no recollection of what she is and who she is. However, enemies soon arrive from the Zalem, the only floating city left above the city. Could she survive the ordeal and discover her true identity at the same time?
Alita: Battle Angel Film Review
Alright, I have to say this out loud, the premise is following quite closely to the manga. In some sense, it follows it a bit too strictly, that it feels like they try to cram as many chapters into this single movie. I like the whole concept and the story world, and it does feel pretty unique. However, execution is an entirely different matter. Pacing is horrendous and a bit monotone. The film keeps introducing characters in bulks and some of the scenes that are supposed to be emotional are rushed through to include more action sequences. The romance is too cliché, too rushed and too forced to the point of weir dness.There is no climax, not much flow and most things seem to be sacrificed for its beautiful CGI graphics. Worse, the ending is very anti-climatic and I left the cinema feeling empty inside like I have wasted a good 2.5 hour. Which I feel is really a waste of an opportunity to produce a truly excellent live-action adaptation of a manga. Though, I must applaud it for being more serious in following the source.
Characters wise, it is also a bit of a failure. Alita is definitely the one getting the bulk of screentime with her shiny big eyes looking around the city and at the enemies. However, the other characters are not given extensive growth development and this applies to even the antagonist. The bad guys just suddenly show up without much explanation on why they want to kill Alita, and some of the bad guys turn into good guys without much reason too. It’s like everything follows a script that provides not much explanation behind their intentions. Lastly, the soundtrack and the graphics perhaps one of the recovering grace for the movies. The whole graphic is beautiful, and filled to the brim with cyberpunk flavour that is also slightly Japanese manga-ish type. For the soundtrack, it is pretty intense and complements the action scenes well.