Sugar and Spite (Alita Battle Angel, 2019)

Alita_Battle_Angel_PosterSet 300 years after all but one “sky city” fell to the earth, Dr. Dyson Ido finds the remains of a cyborg with a still functional human brain. In this future, cybernetic are a part of life, there are many that have cybernetic limbs.  Ido runs a clinic helping the people of the earthbound Iron City that is in the shadow of Zalem. He provides her with a body and when she awakens with no memories, he names her Alita.

Alita soon starts to make friends with locals and grow close to Ido as a parental figure. When she discovers she seems to have incredible combat skills and a bit of taste for action, Ido hopes to keep her from learning too much. Especially when she becomes interested in local boy Hugo. Alita is determined to learn who she is, but also finds that she is facing the threat of local crime lord Vector.

Visually, this is a pretty impressive film, which is not to unexpected from a Cameron connected film. Alita looks pretty lifelike, yet at the same time, her design includes eyes that are slightly too big.  This works for the character and sells that she has an artificial body, yet a very human brain beneath the shell.

On the other hand, there is one character design that just did not work for me, but the character is ion the scene for a very short time…so I cannot really be too bothered.

I really like the chemistry between Waltz and Salazar.  It is very sweet and feels much like a man who is finding a second chance at being a father for someone who may have lived a long time without the love of a parental figure.

The action is very easy to follow, even in high velocity sequences, I never found it confusing.  Again, I am not surprised as director Robert Rodriguez is a skilled director of action.

My biggest criticism is that it feels like that, since they knew they were trying to kick off a franchise, they spent most of the movie establishing there world, and the final half of the story was an afterthought.  It was as if they reached a point and realized they would have a six hour movie, but still needed a certain resolution for the first film. The final part of the film’s story just seems super rushed, including certain character’s arcs.

Alita Battle Angel is not a perfect film, but it is exciting and has some solid emotional beats (especially in the relationship of Ido and Alita).

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