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Review Alita: Battle Angel (2019): Flawed but immense fun!

genre: action, adventure, science fiction, anime, adaptation

Rumours about this film emerged a long time ago. The fact that they were going to make a live action film of an anime at least back then was interesting and compelling news to me. Mind you I am not familiar with the source material at all. And often that is a blessing.

So I won't be able to tell you whether they stayed true to the original story. To be honest I don't really care. It's not like I have very fond memories of the original or anything that any wrongdoing could be perceived as painful or blasphemous. What I can tell you that all the qualms and criticisms disappeared the second we were introduced to Alita kicking ass. Her eyes which didn't look right in the trailer obviously had been fixed and I accepted a CGI character as a real person. More so when those same eyes and other expressions gave the character depth without having to explain that much what she was about. Naturally not knowing who or what she is, is an important part of the story, only never to the extent that the film could be seen as just an action packed mystery. Nope. make no mistake. While the film does give us some world building in essence it's an action flick through and through. Something director Robert Rodriguez is quite good at. The action is slick. stylish and more important exciting. Even when Alita seems too OP she often is a bit vulnerable and perhaps innocent since she is not aware of the world she is in and her own past. Granted this is an overused plot device but they don't linger on it long enough paving the way for other plot elements. In a way it has some themes in common with Blade Runner. Still it's not remotely as dark or brooding as that film. Those themes and her innocence combined make you root for her all the way. 

There are some other characters who play a part in this film but their impact is not as significant. Most likely because they play a larger part in the possible sequels. Most eye popping or should I say ear popping is Christoph Waltz. I like the guy but at this point he does seem to be typecast somewhat. Both Jennifer Connelly and Mahershala Ali are underused to a point they could have been excluded entirely and it wouldn't have made a difference. A bit of a shame. 

There is not much that I can say other than I really enjoyed this and that I truly hope this will get a sequel or more sequels. It is very much deserving to be a franchise. This flick really feels like an live action anime done right. It blows that ghastly Ghost in the Shell adaptation out of the water. A must watch!

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