22nd February 2019
A few nights ago, I went to see Alita: Battle Angel. Before I say anything much on the subject, you should understand that I haven’t read the manga or had any interaction with the franchise before I saw the movie.
That said, from where I’m standing, this movie is a great step forward in regards to western adaptations of anime. Compared to the mistake that was Ghost in the Shell, for example, this felt like a breath of fresh air. It felt like those behind the movie at least knew and understood what made the source material great.
Alita is great because of the action scenes, and the amazing CGI. Also, the mystery of who Alita is kept me on my toes in regards to the story.
I know a lot of people have reservations, considering the art might look a little strange. Alita’s face – specifically her eyes, for example, come off as a little uncanny valley in the trailers and perhaps the posters and other official art. I’m here to tell you I didn’t see that while she was in motion in the movie. Alita, the character, was beautifully expressive and it never came across as award or forced.
I think if there’s an issue with the movie, it’s the ending. Because I’ve never read the manga, I don’t know if that’s a problem with the source material or the screenplay for the movie. Without giving too much away, the ending feels sudden like they just ran out of budget and couldn’t afford to give it a proper finish.
I will also say, as someone who went in completely blind, don’t expect the story to throw any real surprises your way. You’re not here for the twists, I suppose.
In the end, however, this movie felt like something new and different. To me, as an anime and manga lover, I loved it. I don’t think this movie is for everyone. It felt a little like Pacific Rim (the first one, the good one) to me. But this is, in no way, a bad thing.