Alita: Battle Angel'. This Robert Rodriguez- directed and James Cameron-produced film would be expected to have an extremely high standard in its visual storytelling and writing. But does its pedigree equate to quality? Will it join the likes of dismal anime adaptations like Death Note or Ghost in The Shell?
The film centres around the titular Alita(Rosa Salazar) and how she stumbles through the 26th century after being revived by Dr Dyson Ido (played by Christoph Waltz). Alita quickly makes friends with a boy named Hugo (Keean Johnson). Hugo dreams of escaping to the utopian city of Zalem but only has some immoral means of doing so, means that involve the help of the unsettling Vector (Mahershala Ali). There's more than plenty of role models for kids in this film that come in the form of Alita herself, who is determined to be kind and good in a world that is far too rough around the edges. Or Hugo who, despite his sketchy methods is incredibly determined. Parents, do be aware, there are some infrequent uses of profane language and blood spills.
As far as the quality of the film goes, well… the best way it could be summed up is that it's really a film for the fans of the original manga and anime. For many inexperienced viewers, they'll ultimately find that the characters are not exactly given enough time or emotionality to be fleshed out and made relatable for viewers. The film lacks in its plotting department but what ultimately makes it enjoyable is it's action sequences where Rodriguez’ chops show. The high-speed Motorball sequences provide an exhilarating thrill ride, and the direction coupled with the absolutely eye-watering CGI makes it hard not to be drawn into it. In my time researching this film before watching it, I had watched the original anime(Gunm) and read some of the original manga. Upon doing this and seeing the movie, I realised that the film would have greatly benefited from an R rating to truly depict the dark and difficult cyberpunk world that was intended to be shown here.
To sum it up, 'Alita: Battle Angel’ doesn't quite live up to the names attached to it. But does still provide audiences with a fun, thrilling visual experience and remains to be one of the better anime adaptations to come out of Hollywood in recent years.