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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Movie Review | Alita: Battle Angel

02.09.2019 – There has been an abundance of great stories from Japanese Manga that were adopted first to become a hit anime series. Sometimes translations to be marketed in Western countries like the US or Europe also have to change the names and terms to have a better understanding of the series.

One of these series is Battle Angel Alita that was recently adapted into a live-action film produced by James Cameron and directed by Robert Rodriguez.

The much-awaited feature film has been in the works as far back to the early 2000s and it took nearly eighteen years for production to happen. The synopsis of the film takes inspiration from the first four volumes of the Manga Series. The film Incorporates elements from Alita’s past origin from her previous life and the brutal Motorball gladiatorial matches that exudes stunning action visual scenes. For an almost three hour film, you won’t notice the time with the narrative jumping through the scenes without any hangovers.

Rodriguez putting things into perspective how he brings this popular Manga series into live action. There are complex reasons some of these are a bit of a challenge to translate from graphic novel to the big screen. Alita being a motion capture of Rosa Salazar didn’t hinder her performance as the titular character. But during the early teaser trailers, the first look at Akita’s eyes seemed to be bigger than the ones you see in the final product.

There were interesting fight scenes that show off her unique abilities. Truly, CGI animation has finally caught up in producing a film featuring motion-captured characters in comparison to how Avatar first used this concept almost a decade ago. Now, Alita: Battle Angel takes the concept even further and puts together impressive imagery bringing Yukito Kishiro's creation to a wider audience.

Besides Rosa Salazar’s portrayal of Alita, you also have Ed Skrein’s Zapan and the big bad Jackie Earle Haley as the menacing Grewishka to round up the CGI character performances. Christoph Waltz as Dr. Dyson Ido gives a fatherly voice to the fighter in Alita. While Jennifer Connelly was a surprising cast to see as Dr. Cherin. What makes interesting cliff hanger the reveal of Nova uncredited role by Edward Norton. The same goes to Mahershala Ali as Vector.

“Alita: Battle Angel” sums up to be the cyberpunk action film you’ll probably root for. But not as what most expect to be invigoratingly fun. But what is impressive is the challenge of bringing a Japanese property that most has failed. Cameron has mentioned in his recent press tour to promote the film that he’s looking forward to making a sequel with this adaptation of the Manga Series as this has potential.

It’s not a great film in comparison to what made his Avatar a billion dollar success in 2009, but there is still room for improvements with the narrative in making this a trilogy. The film is currently playing in cinemas all over the world from 20th Century Fox!

Alita: Battle Angel Release Dates | 14 February in Australia | 6 February 2019 in the Philippines | Listing for the Rest of the World HERE!


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