With ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL The makers of “Avatar” and “Titanic” are unleashing a new technical milestone on the audience – and thanks to director Robert Rodriguez, things are getting really tough. We reveal more about this successful blockbuster in our review.
The Plot Summary
When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memories in a future world she doesn’t know, the compassionate cyber-medic Ido (Christoph Waltz) takes her under his wing. He realizes that deep inside this abandoned cyborg lies the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary story. Gradually, Alita finds her way in her new life and learns to navigate the dangerous streets of Iron City. Ido tries to protect her from her mysterious past, while her clever new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers to help Alita find her old self. When the city’s corrupt forces, led by Vector (Mahershala Ali), begin to crack down on Ido and Alita, the young woman discovers clues to her past life – and becomes aware that she has supernatural fighting abilities. From now on, the goal of those in power is to eliminate this. Alita must do everything she can to escape her captors. This is the only way she can save her friends, her family and the world that she has come to love.
Movie explanation of the ending
Like a baby that he gave up for adoption after much hesitation – this is how virtuoso director James Cameron describes part of the creation process of “Alita: Battle Angel”, the film adaptation of the manga comic of the same name that he has overseen for almost two decades. But in favor of the “Avatar” series, which has now grown to include four planned sequels, he had to refrain from completing “Alita” on his own responsibility and handed the reins over to his good friend and director Robert Rodriguez, who has so far mainly worked on his hard, dirty genre films like “From Dusk Till Dawn”, “Planet Terror” and most recently “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”; to name just a few. It seems a little absurd that two filmmakers with such different focuses come together for “Alita”: James Cameron has been attracting masses to the cinemas since “Terminator” – especially because he repeatedly makes quantum leaps in terms of tricks with his films. Rodriguez, on the other hand, celebrated his biggest mainstream success worldwide with “Sin City” (in the USA only his “Spy Kids” films were even more successful) – an ultra-brutal adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name, equipped with an R rating. Now the virtuoso of popcorn cinema and the specialist in blood and violence are coming together for “Alita: Battle Angel” – and the look and feel of the film corresponds exactly to what one would have hoped for from a collaboration between these two contemporaries.
Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) finds his latest project in Alita, in which he recognizes his deceased daughter.
The script, based on the manga of the same name, was written by James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez himself as well as co-author Laeta Kalogridis, who made a name for herself with the scripts “Shutter Island” but also the extremely miserable “Terminator: Genisys”. However, it most likely bears the signature of Cameron, who has been involved in the project for the longest time, because if there is a weak point in “Alita: Battle Angel”, it is once again the story. In the case of “Avatar,” it is no longer a secret which films inspired it, just as the success of “Titanic” and the “Terminator” films never had its origins in particularly clever storytelling. “Alita” now also corresponds to the classic formula of an entertainment film with an overpowering protagonist at the center, a dystopian-futuristic world and a fight between good and evil, whose hope is chosen over the course of the film by Alita, who changes from a teenager to a woman. Due to the very superficial character sketches of all the supporting characters, who sometimes complete their development in a few and therefore hardly believable minutes, the blockbuster, which costs between 150 and 200 million US dollars, remains largely lacking in surprises, at least in terms of narrative, and doesn’t really grab you on an emotional level depends on how much potential the template actually reveals. But we can only repeat ourselves when we point out that this didn’t stop “Avatar” from becoming the highest-grossing film of all time to date.
“Alita” once again has its greatest strengths in its staging – and here Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron, together with “Avatar” producer Jon Landau, once again push all the boundaries of what is currently possible in cinema. The team turns “Alita: Battle Angel” into a film that is made for one thing above all: to be experienced on the big screen. To do this, Rodriguez not only used the stereoscopic 3D and camera technology used for the first time in “Avatar”, which Cameron had previously worked on for over seven years, but also a photorealistic motion capture process by newcomer Rosa Salazar (“Maze Runner – The Untold in the Death Zone”) to develop the embodied protagonist Alita on the computer. In keeping with the manga comic, the creators even gave her large, true-to-life eyes, which also underlines her existence as a cyborg (and not as a human!). The way Salazar’s character moves through the CGI landscapes as an outwardly human computer creature, interacts with his human supporting characters and there is never any question as to what kind of character we are dealing with here, is absolutely remarkable and captures the spirit of the film In addition, the manga template is repeatedly quoted upside down in long, striking shots. Added to this is the perfectly thought-out design of the futuristic world, whose backdrops still have a tactile feel even when nothing is actually real except for the actors. Especially on the IMAX screen and in razor-sharp 3D, the spectacular effects really come into their own and – as trite as it may sound – take you away for two hours into a world of your own in which things like green screens and computer tricks simply don’t exist seems to give; Here everything finally seems real!
Rosa Salazar, Keean Johnson, Jorge Lendeborg Jr. and Lana Condor in “Alita: Battle Angel.”
Even among the consistently powerful effects, a few isolated highlights can still be identified. The motorball game played in this world, which has apparently replaced American football as Americans’ favorite sport in the future, really blows your mind when Transformers-like human-machine hybrids chase after a ball on motorized roller skates and don’t get any Compromise with their opponents. Things can sometimes get extremely heated. But as in all the other action scenes in which Robert Rodriguez repeatedly enjoys dismantling (robot) bodies in close-up (with such a high body count, the film would normally be 18+ if it had human bodies and red blood instead of blue). to do), cameraman Bill Pope retains (“Baby Driver”) always have an overview. Above all, thanks to some very strongly conceived scenes in super slow motion, he creates some spectacular blockbuster moments for the ages and thus once again reinforces the impression that the principle of style over substance applies to “Alita: Battle Angel”. Unfortunately, the characters and the story are not granted such a lasting impression. This is partly due to the interchangeable performances of the actors. Especially Christoph Waltz (“Tulip Fever”) once again acts in villain mode, which is not appropriate in “Alita: Battle Angel”. As a result, he loses some of his credibility as a loving father. Jennifer Connelly also works (“No Way Out”) just as given away as Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”)while alongside Rosa Salazar with Keean Johnson (“Heritage Falls”) Another newcomer stands out positively, although the script unfortunately doesn’t do him any favors with his sloppily written role. Nevertheless, his willingness to sacrifice and his enthusiasm are contagious – we would like to see more of him in the future!
Conclusion: With their mix of coming-of-age story and dystopian sci-fi actioner, the makers of “Alita: Battle Angel” don’t tell anything new, but the technical brilliance of the film, the exuberant wealth of ideas and the equally spectacular and brutal action sequences make it The 3D blockbuster is a must-visit cinema – ideally in IMAX!
“Alita: Battle Angel” can be seen in USA cinemas nationwide from February 14th – also in excellent 3D and in IMAX cinemas!