Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Natalie Recommends "Alita Battle Angel"

Based on the Yukito Kishiro manga (Japanese comic) Battle Angel Alita, Alita: Battle Angel tells the story of the cyborg Alita, who has amnesia and wants to find out who she is.  This movie highlights the first few issue of the Battle Angel Alita series, which includes her introduction, her interest in motorball (a fa roller derby like sport), and her time as a bounty hunter.  Along the way, she meets new friends, like Hugo, who she would develop a romantic interest in as well as enemies such as Zapan, a cyborg bounty hunter, and Victor a motorball champion, who has questionable ties.

This movie did stray slightly from the source material slightly, like changing how Alita got her name (she was originally named after Ido's cat) to his daughter and Jennifer Connolly's character, Dr. Cherin.  She was originally a character from the short animated series but was Ido's partner there, where here, she's his ex-wife.  However, these additions were nice and added some development for the story. For example, Hugo shows Alita how to play motorball (for fun), which would at least explain where she learned it from.

This was a project that James Cameron had been wanting to do since Avatar, which would be the movie he ultimately went with first.  And while the titular character's look it may take some getting used to, this is a really good cyberpunk movie.  I actually saw it in theaters when it came out because I am a fan of the series and was waiting for this to finally come out for a few years.  And after the wait, I can say that I really enjoyed it.

It's a good movie that tells the story of a cyborg trying to discover who she is and who she wants to be and is full of great action sequences.  The motorball scenes in this movie are fast much like the sport it mimics and are fun to watch.  As an adaptation of a manga series (much like Ghost in a Shell two years ago), I feel like this did it well compared to a number of others like it.  And as a science fiction movie, I thought it was pretty well put together.  This movie is suited for a more adult audience given some of the language and topics that are brought up.

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