Alita Battle Angel             review by Bobby Blakey

Robert Rodriguez is one of those directors that has offered up a lot of projects that were risks and more often than not worked, but became cult status hits or iconic. While he has been staying busy running his El Rey Network and producing it’s been a while since we have had him in the director’s seat. Now he is back at the helm alongside producer James Cameron for his latest film Alita: Battle Angel based off the popular anime of the same name starring stars Rosa Salazar, Jennifer Connelly, Christoph Waltz, Michelle Rodriguez, Eiza Gonzalez, Jeff Fahey, Mahersala Ali, and Jackie Earle Haley. Could this film successfully bring this anime to life or will it forget where it came from?

Alita Battle Angel follows the mysterious Dr. Ido who finds Alita, a lethal and dangerous being from an age of despair while trolling for cyborg parts. She cannot remember who she is, or where she came from, but to Dr. Ido, the truth is all too clear. She is the one being who can break the cycle of death and destruction left behind from Tiphares. But to accomplish her true purpose, she must fight and kill. And that is where Alita's true significance comes to bear. She is an angel from heaven. She is an angel of death. Let me start off saying I have never read any of the comics or seen any of the anime films to this property. I know of it and have seen some of the imagery over the years, but for all intents and purposes this was my first foray into this world.

 

The trailers to this movie are the kind that can easily throw people off most notably with the look of Alita’s large eyes. I was looking forward to the film, but feared that it might be a mess that made little sense due to the marketing itself, but I am glad to report I was wrong. I really enjoyed this film from beginning to end. Sure there are some slower elements and it takes a bit to get used to some of the CGI effects initially, but it didn’t take long before I was all in. The story is 

 

pretty simple with just enough twists and turns to keep you invested without ever trying to be overly mysterious. The visuals are stunning and thankfully they shot mostly on real sets to create the actual world.

While it all looks great and fully immerses you in this new version of the world none of that matters if you don’t buy into Alita herself. Initially she is a bit off putting, but for me putting it in perspective to her being a cyborg made it work to perfection. Even through the CGI you still get the emotion and nuances of Rosa Salazar’s performance. If there was anything I had a real issue with it came with her chemistry with Keean Johnson’s Hugo. It worked most of the time, but there are times where it just fell flat for me, but thankfully not enough to affect the overall finished product.

 

The attention to detail in the look and feel along with the insanely awesome action just delivered a ton of fun on the big screen. The fight sequences alone sold me on most of the film because they were handled so well and of course add to that a mix of half human / half cyborg killing machines and you have one hell of a fun ride. 

 

In addition to the film this release features tons of bonus content including trailers, featurettes, Robert Rodriguez 10 minute cooking school and so much more. Join the fight of the future when Alita Battle Angel available now on digital, 4K Ultra, Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

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