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SMR 231: Alita: Battle Angel

Rod and Karen review the live action anime adaptation of Alita: Battle Angel. We also discuss some trailers.  No feedback for Lego Movie 2 though.



    I couldn’t make sense of this story, because I felt there were parts of Alita: Battle Angel that feel incomplete, narrative-wise. Were introduced to the beginning of this film, as if people are supposed to recognize this license. For me, it made the film feel slow & out of sorts. I found most of the story to be underwhelming, due to the fact, that it seems like this film FEELS like it should’ve been longer. I mean, the ending is such cliffhanger-bait, tbh. However, I found myself liking it, because the action did pick up & Alita did her thing. Rosa Salazar, who plays Alita, got much better as the film went along, mostly by her fight scenes & I liked the way in important scenes, she was able to carry certain scenes that depict her bravery. The co-leads all were fine & had their prominent moments, but, for me, the action sequences saved this movie, when it shouldn’t have. The movie also makes good use of its 3D. It’s not something i’d watch again, but I did have a good time, despite my complaints.

  2. rodimusprime

    Hey Rod and Karen!

    I watched Alita this past weekend. I thought it was a very beautiful movie with a really good story. Sure it was childish at times with the teenage romance, but I kinda chalked it up to the young audience it was trying to reach. I did see it in IMAX 3D, and I think the IMAX-detailed part of the movie was better than the 3D. The fighting looked CRISP, and the graphics were very clean. I can’t remember the last time I saw a 3D movie and it really stuck out to me, so my expectations are usually pretty low, but Alita did try to bring something extra to the 3D experience.

    I’m not into anime myself, and I’ve only watched a couple of episodes of a few random shows because of my husband. But I think as long as you’re able to suspend reality and immerse yourself in another world, I think people will be able to enjoy it. Because of the MCU and DCU movies, I’ve become accustomed to watching a movie and just seeing where the story takes me rather than walking in with expectations of how a story should end. I think anyone that likes science fiction or animation will find something to like about this movie.

    I really enjoyed the fact that I didn’t know it was going to have a sequel. I usually don’t like middle movies (movies in the middle of a 3-part series). But Alita made me feel like it was a middle movie in the best of ways. I was immersed into this half-robotic world without explanation, and I had to wait for the movie to tell me what was happening. I really enjoyed the journey, and I’m glad I’ve been tricked into being invested in Alita’s story.

    Quick question: was Alita ALL animation, or was she a person?? The close ups were SO GOOD, that I really found myself asking if she was real or not. Damn, I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed it until I wrote this review.

    Lastly, I would’ve never thought to watch this movie if you didn’t review the movie trailer. It sounded good to me after your commentary, and then I saw the trailer for myself and decided to go. I’m away from my family for a year, and it’s been rough. But being able to go to a movie for a couple of hours and enjoy myself has helped tremendously, and you all have a direct hand in my happiness and mental stability.

    Anyway, this is long enough. Thanks for taking the time to include my feedback, and please keep the reviews coming!

    Very Respectfully,

  3. ClassicRandBLover

    Hi Rod and Karen,

    Rod, you speculated about what someone who is not into Anime would think of Alita. Well, I can give you my perspective. When I first saw the trailers and realized it was Anime, I had no intentions of seeing it. However, the more I saw of the previews, the more I was pushed to take a chance because it looked like it could be fun. I saw it in IMAX/3D and I really enjoyed it. It was what I expected, a fun film. I give it a 3 out of 5. I hear people slamming it and maybe if I were a critic who had to see this film I might be more critical, but as it is I went for fun and I had fun. I agree the Marhershala Ali could have been used more, and I could have done without the male assholery of Hugo, but I get why his character was there.

    FYI — I know horror is not in either of your wheelhouses, but you might enjoy the Happy Death Day movies. They are not slashery, they are about the mystery, the character development and surprisingly, the humor. They too are fun, so if you ever see them on a channel you have, you might want to give them a watch.

  4. Selester63

    Hey Rod & Karen,

    I’m someone who is not into anime (not that I have anything against it) but I still enjoyed this movie. I liked the all the action and fight scenes. Alita was a bad-ass from beginning to end. The love interest between Alita and Hugo was cool. I liked Waltz as Ido the cyber-doctor/father figure. I agree with you that Nurse Gerhad (Idara Victor), Ido’s assistant, should have had more speaking parts and a larger role. I initially thought she was Ido’s assistant & love interest. Vector (Ali) was basically a puppet used by Nova (I think that was his name), the man in the sky watching everything. There was a scene where Chiren (Connelly) was lying in bed wearing lingerie while talking to Vector and even though they weren’t shown being physically intimate I guess we can assume she was giving up the cakes, she really wanted to get to that city in the sky by any means necessary. I believe the only way to get to the city in the sky is to become the overall champion but I’ve got a feeling that’s probably not true and actually there’s no way to get there. What do both of you think? If there’s going to be a another movie I’ll definitely see it.

    Thanks, peace.

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