Movie Review: Alita: Battle Angel

One of these days there will be a futuristic science fiction movie that is written, produced and released that does not paint such a dire picture of the future of the world, where there has been some sort of a nuclear war, and people live among pieces of broken machines and robots. This story takes place in the year 2562 and has one of the most depressing world environments I have ever seen in any movie.

The new movie “Alita: Battle Angel” has extremely impressive special effects that include some of the same technology that has existed since Avatar, released in 2007. Unfortunately and once again, special effects were considered more important than a great story. The main character in this movie, Alita is an animated robot created using a technology where the actor is fitted with motion detector devices and filmed in front of a green screen. Alita’s eyes are very big, like the characters in Avatar, and her big eyes make her a very likable character. She is found by a scientist played by actor Christoph Waltz and put back together and during the first third of this movie, it is found that she has special combat skills and is a robot over 300 years old. Even though she is a robot, she can love with a human and even eat food, something I have never seen a Robot do in any movie. Why would any Robot ever need to eat human food?

The problems with this movie are that its too long, well over 2 hours and the story is all over the place, especially at the end with a convoluted plot that was never explained well enough and even includes a Rollerball type of game where people can elevate to a higher world if they win. The fight scenes are many and probably too intense for any child under 15 years old and there are also scenes of bounty hunters who are hired to kill other robots and humans. The reasons for this part of the story, were another part that was never made clear enough. Alita: Battle Angel is another movie that has a comic book counterpart that the audience would have to read before they would be able to understand the entire story. This is all about bad screenwriting and it should not be necessary to know about any story before hand when you see a new movie. Its all about explaining what is going on in a concise easy to understand way and this movie skips over too many important things to make this story more understandable to the majority of the audience.

This movie also starts Jennifer Connely and Mahershala Ali who seem to have been added to this cast, only to attract more box office and other than the money, I wonder why either one of them decided to do this movie. Due to the technology and history with Avatar, James Cameron is also involved with this movie as a co-screenwriter. Cameron is both a great director and screenwriter, but for this script it seems he was too distracted with other projects to give his full attention to this one.

The Rotten Tomatoes review is only about 59% and I would have given this movie only about a 50% and due to all the problems, I cannot recommend it.

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