When I first heard about the Alita movie I didn’t know anything about it. When I learned that the movie was being Produced by James Cameron [Avatar] and Directed by Robert Rodriguez [Sin City] I got more interested. I dug deeper into the story and found out that Alita is based on a Japanese Manga I had never heard of before, but has a very loyal following. Alita fans didn’t seem very happy about this considering the history of Hollywood adaptations of Manga stories. Long story short, it hasn’t been good.
With that said, I didn’t go into this movie with the expectations of a Manga fan, but rather a Camron and Rodriguez fan. Without giving much away, Alita is the story of a young cyborg girl who has lost her memory. She is found by Dr Ido in a scrapyard who nurses her back to health and becomes father figure. From there on the story evolves to finding out who she really is and what her purpose is.
We are introduced to Hugo, our love interest and by far my least favourite character. He is meant to create an emotional connection that never really catches from his side. We also meet a slew of diverse characters along the way that are either interesting or just space fillers. It’s very evident that they tried to squeeze in as many characters from the original manga as they could. A stand out character is Zapan, a hunter warrior [bounty Hunter] who is pretty much an asshole and a decent sub-villain.
Alita is a lot of story packed into one movie. It is a great feat for CGI and the action is incredible. It is a pleasure to watch in 3D, and I am not a 3D fan for live action movies. Watching Alita evolve embrace who she really is, is an absolute pleasure. Rosa Salazar is the highlight of this story with a performance that captures so many emotions without being too much. She was a brilliant casting decision.
Alita is an origin story we have kind of seen before but with some refreshing twists, bold decisions and stunning visuals. I don’t know how fans of the manga will feel about it but I feel it will be more enjoyable for people who don’t have any expectations. I think it’s worth watching and I look forward to the follow up.
Alita: Battle Angel opens in South Africa on February 14 at Ster-Kinekor cinemas. Book here: Alita: Battle Angel
Watch the trailer below: