Robert Rodriguez' ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
Movie Review by Dennis D. McDonald
ALITA has a story line for adolescents surrounded by the most impressive future world-building and action sequences since AVATAR. Add in amazing character effects as embodied in Alita herself and you have a VERY entertaining film. Is it profound? No. Is it engagingly eye-popping? Absolutely.
I am still able to engage with films meant for younger audiences. Watching Alita I was taken back to the science fiction and adventure novels I read as a kid that took me to places and situations I could barely dream about.
Until 2001: A Space Odyssey came along future sci-fi movies and TV shows never looked real. 2001 changed all that.
Now we take such realism for granted but we still demand realism in characters and the faces. The Gollum / Smeagol argument in the Marshes indicated where we were headed in combining CGI and realistic drama. Alita herself — and her WETA-supplied eyes — demonstrate how far we have come.
The movie is not all special effects. The plot may be simple and there are almost too many story lines. But Rodriguez knows what he is doing as he expertly shifts us from characters to dialog to action with incredible visual treats around every corner (and in the sky). Surround sound in a large theater is also impressive and adds a feeling of depth even if you don’t see the movie in 3D (which I intend to do eventually). Recommended.
Movie review copyright (c) 2019 by Dennis D. McDonald