It’s about time I reviewed another movie. The last one I did was Glass which was almost a month ago now. I have been to the cinema twice since then, to see Escape Room and Clint Eastwood’s The Mule, but neither of those movies compelled me to write a review.
Then today I watched Alita: Battle Angel, our first major blockbuster movie of the year. If you didn’t know how I define blockbuster it is how close they look to animated movies and Alita: Battle Angel easily takes this prize. This movie was directed by Robert Rodriguez who you’ve probably heard of for directing Sin City and From Dusk Till Dawn. But I remember him from the Spy Kids movies, Shorts and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D. (One day I must review his kids movies, they’re amazing!)
So, back to his latest movie Alita: Battle Angel which I will admit is not one of his best works. It’s set in some sort of dystopian future where people go to the supermarket to trade in their boring fleshy human body for a more awesome robot body. We’re introduced to our heroine Alita, a robot girl who is obviously destined for great things. She is fostered by Christoph Waltz who plays the role of overprotective dad, she meets a hunky bad boy but still with a good heart and then a bunch of bad guys start coming after them and it’s a clunky mess to get to the finish line.
This movie’s story is a mess as they set up all of these storylines that sound kind of interesting but are all very muddled and it totally lacks focus. For example, Alita wants to join the bounty hunter league so she can rally them to fight against the sky people and there is another plot line of winning this derby thing so she can get to sky land. It just doesn’t work as I found it very difficult to keep up with these conflicting storylines that really had nothing to do with each other. It is possible to do this right as last years Widows did an amazing job at balancing multiple storylines, but in this case it just didn’t work.
Besides the muddled storylines the characters also suck. Alita is fine but all of the other characters aren’t properly developed and their motivations aren’t clear. Especially Christoph Waltz’s character and the bad boy who I found quite intolerable at some points. This movie is also on the nose as I never found anything that shocking and some supposedly emotional parts near the end of the movie I found quite hilarious. None of the performances really stood out to me except Ed Skrein who plays the exact same character he played in Deadpool but he is better in this one because everyone else sucks.
I will give it some credit as this is the most visually impressive movie I have seen so far this year as it looks like an awesome PS4 game. (Maybe it should’ve been a game, I would have played it.) The action scenes are the highlight of the movie as there are some quite creative camera shots and good action set pieces. The landscape and character design look really nice. Alita’s design isn’t that bad and her eyes didn’t really creep me out like I thought they would. Though the human faces inserted onto CGI robots looked very off and reminded me of Mr Electric.
The last thing I want to mention is, like with Escape Room, if you want the rest of the story you’ll need to come back and pay tickets for the sequel. This one is worse than Escape Room as it sets up very early on that Alita came from sky land and her goal is to get back up there to learn about her past and then we’re introduced to new characters and more subplots and it’s pretty damn clear she isn’t getting there anytime soon. The movie is very obnoxious about it as they keep talking about how great it is up there and they go on about some corporate mastermind who sits in a chair and it’s like Shut Up Movie!
Overall Alita: Battle Angel is alright. It’s a good looking game disguised as a mediocre movie. 5/10. I’ll let you be the judge of if you want to see it or not. But I do recommend any of Robert Rodriguez’s other kids movies as they’re something special and one day I will talk further about them.
I saw some trailers for about 5 different superhero movies before seeing this movie. So I guess I’ll have more to talk about in the coming months because someone has to complain about them so ’til then I have been The Blog Complainer, Signing Out.