Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
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You can tell the same effects house that gave us the Planet of the Apes movies worked on Alita: Battle Angel. Though I was not convinced by the trailers, Alita does turn out to be the best CG actress I've ever since, and extremely well integrated into the live action. If you told me they just embiggened Rosa Salazar's eyes and that's it, I'd almost believe it. It's the main draw because everything else is good, but hardly original. It's Rollerball with cyborgs, a "chosen one" narrative, and lots of CG fights. Not to say there aren't any surprises or quirky bits, and it is unashamedly a manga brought to life, and that's a compliment. Due warning: While it tells a fairly complete story, I realized near the end that it was meant as a first chapter. That's worrisome if it's not going to do gangbusters. The good news is, with penny-pinching Robert Rodriguez at the helm, he'll probably find a way to finish the story regardless.
Pretty darn good. Lots of great, well-choreographed action and the CGI is some of the best I've ever seen. The characters are pretty likable too, especially Alita. It does feel like there was too much plot and not enough time to tell it. This is based on an anime, so of course the plot will be convoluted. Lots of plot threads are introduced, and while not too many are dropped, a lot are dealt with in a sudden and perfunctory way. In one or two lines a character will resolve what seemed like a major element of the story. The movie doesn't really have an ending either-it just sort of ends. Nevertheless, I really liked this movie and I recommend it for anyone who wants a top-notch CGI action fest with a higher-than-usual does of heart.
This might be #1 on my list of movies where I knew absolutely nothing about the source material going in but still really liked it. It's very slick and the action sequences flow very well with the CGI.
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