In going to the movie theaters, life was at a standstill. In witnessing “Alita: Battle Angel”, I was never the same again. This might be because the flatbread pizza that I ordered was burnt or that I was trying to hurry up my uncle to go see this film at six o’clock at night.
Based on the Japanese anime, “Ganmu”, Alita, played by Rosa Salazar, is a female cyborg heroine with human emotions that is looking to find out who she is and what is her primary purpose. Aided by Dr. Dryson Ido, portrayed by Christopher Waltz and a street thug named Hugo, played by Keenan Johnson — Alita sets out on a journey that will lead her with more questions about her past, as well as Zalem, a sky city with a hidden secret, and a growing desire to do justice.[Editor’s Note: Spoiler Warning] During the film, the main antagonist is Vector, played by Mahershala Ali, who sets out to stop Alita from fulfilling her destiny. Despite Vector’s role as the main antagonist, the major villain that holds the keys to Zalem as well as the answers to Alita’s past is Nova, portrayed by Edward Norton, as the true unseen villain that appears at the very end of the film.
The film is directed by none other than Robert Rodriguez, who is well known for directing action movies like “Sin City” and kids movies such as “Spy Kids,” while screenplay and production is made by James Cameron, who is famous for creating the sci-fi film “Avatar,” the historical epic “Titanic,” and countless action movies.
Throughout the film’s general premise, there were a lot of elements of humor, love, betrayal, loss, revenge and retribution that coincide with each scene. The major piece within the film is Motorball, a sport similar to basketball in which several contenders try to get the ball and score a shot but with what would usually be considered illegal blows. Another would be bounty hunting, since certain scenes remain pivotal in discussing what bounty hunters do for a living. Here is a hint: they kill bad guys and make tons of money.
Set in a post-apocalyptic setting with cyberpunk qualities, Alita sets the bar of special effects and action scenes that made me smile with joy. Gore in this movie is dialed down due to a PG-13 rating, but despite the drawback, the film kept pace with what it was trying to accomplish. There was one scene where an enemy tried to kill Alita but was pushed into a grinder and subsequently grinded to bits. Right away, I muttered “Fatality” since it reminded me of “Mortal Kombat” but without the organ loss. Another scene I enjoyed was with Alita doing some martial arts on James Earle Haley’s big bulky character named Grewishka.
Despite the great special effects and the general façade of action scenes that made me crave more, the ending was the only thing that made me stop and think a bit. In my mind, the ending of the movie left me wondering if there will ever be a sequel to Alita since it ended beautifully.
With a sequel maybe in the air, the box office tells a mixed tune. During President’s day weekend, Alita made “$43 million at the box office,” according to a Screen Rant article by Chris Agar. This means that “Alita” did not bomb but rather it is taking time in creating enough revenue to make the budget.
For any WCU student that desires to watch a sci-fi film or just craves a great experience, “Alita: Battle Angel” is definitely your kind of movie. By the way, do not forget to eat before seeing this movie. You are forewarned!
Nicolas Bartelmo is a third-year student majoring in history. NB790429@wcupa.edu