Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.
Finally, an adaptation of a Japanese manga that America has done right! Alita: Battle Angel was nothing short of spectacular, with just one minor exception. I was invested from beginning to end and absolutely blown away by what was accomplished in both story and visuals.
The film follows Alita, a cyborg whose parts were discovered in a scrap yard by Dr. Dyson Ido, a cyborg repair specialist. He discovers Alita's human brain is still very much alive and decides to rebuild her body in the hopes of waking her up. Alita does wake, but has no memory of who she is or what her purpose was. As she rediscovers the world, she finds there's more at stake than she realizes.
The story was brilliantly conceived and the message behind it was as important as ever. Alita's journey could be an inspiration to young women today if you keep an open mind and really listen to what's being said. Surprisingly, the film was also highly emotional. It's like in Terminator 2 where you think, it's just a cyborg, but you end up shedding a few tears when he gives John that thumbs up as he sinks to his demise. Alita had that effect in the sense that, yes she's a cyborg, but that doesn't mean she's incapable of emotion. It really makes you ask, What does it mean to be human? Is it the brain or the heart that makes you human, or is it the ability to feel pain and love?
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The visuals were absolutely stunning. Writer/producer James Cameron envisioned Alita as comparable to Avatar. Even though Cameron had to pass on directing, I think Alita surpassed Avatar in story and effects both. Even though it's based on a manga, Alita felt original and unique whereas Avatar was derived from many different things squished together.
Top marks to Rosa Salazar for performing her role as Alita in a mo-cap suit and also really diving into her character and making changes in her posture and voice to make Alita as perfect as possible. Ed Skrein also did a fantastic job as one of the villains in the film, keeping that bad-boy persona and pushing it to a breaking point almost like he did as Francis in Deadpool.
The only issue I had was with some of the dialogue. Especially with Hugo's lines, it could feel a bit off at times like it was written by an amateur. With the film being written by James Cameron, you expect a certain level of mastery with words. The issue was only at the start and fixed itself quickly.
In conclusion, I was blown away by this film. If you love sci-fi, I highly recommend it. Alita is a story about finding your true self, one that so many young people need to hear. I give the film a 3.5 out of 4.
© 2019 Nathan Jasper