Alita: Battle Angel (2019) – A Warrior Rises

February 2019, a sci-fi action film written and produced by James Cameron has released. Adapted from the manga by Yukito Kishiro, Robert Rodriguez’s “Alita: Battle Angel” set in 2563. 300 years after “The Fall” Christoph Waltz as Dr. Dyson Ido is looking for a robot spare part in the dump. He found a living cyborg head and took her home. He also gives a new body apart from the brain. Its core still functioning but forgets who she would be. After Dr. Ido gave her a name, Rosa Salazar as Alita tried to adapt in Iron City. Alita explored the city and met new friends, Keean Johnson as Hugo. Hugo invited Alita to play Motorball, a very popular game.

Alita is curious about Dr. Ido he comes out at night. Alita followed him and another cyborg including Jackie Earle Haley as Grewishka appeared and attacked them. Alita didn’t shut and began to fight them while Alita surprised Dr. Ido because she can fight. Until then, Alita and Dr. Ido have enemies. On the other hand, Mahersala Ali as Vector along with Dr. Ido’s ex-wife, Jennifer Connelly as Chiren, has an evil plan against Alita.

Since his theatrical debut as “El Mariachi”, Rodriguez has been able to steal so many attention since its first trailer. The story of the manga adapted to the big screen is one of the motion-capture. A performance by Rosa Salazar as Alita. In general, this culture of adapting anime and manga to Hollywood isn’t something new. “Ghost in the Shell” is one that most people say is a failed adaptation. In addition, there is “Edge of Tomorrow” which is also able to attract a lot of attention. What about “Death Note” Netflix which doesn’t need to be discussed again?

Indeed, since the beginning, James Cameron has been planning this project since the 2000s. However, his busy work on “Avatar” and planning other sequels pointed to Robert Rodriguez as the director. Finally, Cameron continued to write the screenplay of this film assisted by Laeta Kalogridis. “Alita: Battle Angel” has simple scenes with such visual effects and gorgeous CGI. Every scene makes the audience amazed at the visual effect and well, laughs. The good thing, the story introduced Alita through existing arcs. So, we know her characters besides she is an overpowered yet have big weaknesses. So, James Cameron has many controversies he has to deal with.

In addition, the story introduced Alita as a teenage female character in general. She knew nothing and tried to find her true identity. Starting from her admiration seeing Motorball for the first time and registering for a hunter-warrior. And finally, fighting Gewishkha and Vector. Alita is a badass character like an angel who is fighting ruthlessly without mercy. However, the glance with her eye design is so hard. It’s hard to feel used. It’s so anime. And Rosa Salazar’s appearance in casting this innocent but curious teenager is why it’s so deep.

Christoph Waltz as Dr. Ido is additional chemistry from the father-and-son relationship. Salazar and Waltz were acting together with Keenan Johnson. They succeeded to entertain us. The romance part is so cliche and cheesy. It’s not really affecting me or to the majority of the audience as well. Ed Skrein as Zapan as a successful antagonist character played with an annoying character in himself. Mahershala Ali, do we need to talk about this guy? He is like an Oscar-worthy actor who can act like anything. He is a mysterious guy and so out-of-character.

“Alita: Battle Angel” has a stunning visual effect and so realistic. Weta Digital, Double Negative, and Framestore are a digital visual company that has succeeded in presenting its vibe. It really reminds me of “Ready Player One” in some kind of part. The character design on Alita looks smooth as a cyborg. The landscape of the Iron City and Zalem looks very neat. Smooth and neat fighting scenes with stunning choreography it cannot be missed.

This movie, besides a lot of things to talk about, has a shortage in the plot. Apart from the ending being very sequel baiting, there is no strong background why Mars attacks Zalem. The chemistry between Alita and Hugo is very out of the box. It’s also cliche as it should be not worthy to talk. But, it describes the character of Alita who is indeed fragile and very weak because of love. Bottom line, “Alita: Battle Angel” shows endless battles but is very amazing. Rosa Salazar steals attention as an anime-like face cyborg while the visual effects are very pampering as well.

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Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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