Review: Alita: Battle Angel
What can I say about Robert Rodriguez? Not much to be quite honest, I liked From Dusk Till Dawn and that was pretty much my fill. But I went on to watch the four Spy Kids movies, the first Machete, Sharkboy and Lava Girl and now this, Alita: Battle Angel.
My interest in Alita: Battle Angel was based solely on the inclusion of Christoph Waltz, who, as ever, is a solid workhorse in an otherwise bland and drab movie.
Though visually stunning on the surface, it’s when Alita: Battle Angel is tasked with giving us a deeper meaning when it begins to really struggle. Based on some sort of manga that I won’t read, Alita: Battle Angel is all about Alita and her struggle to survive in a world she doesn’t understand.
Or at least that’s what I’m presuming, because to be quite honest I had no clue what was going on. One moment Alita and Dr. Ido are eating oranges, the next they’re playing some sort of pseudo-rollerblading death tournament game.
With a cast this big I was expecting at least one performance to be prominent: Mahershala Ali and Christoph Waltz come close to doing something somewhat enjoyable, but they’re not in the least bit memorable. Rosa Salazar stars as Alita, a bland character with huge eyes (this marking the second Christoph Waltz movie where there’s a theme of big eyes). Keean Johnson is possibly the worst part of the whole process though – his performance throughout is crushingly clichéd and borderline terrible.
Visually however, Alita: Battle Angel is an enjoyably shallow romp with enough action to tide me over until the next bit of visual prowess. It’s a weak means of film-making, but it got me to the end of the movie. Glossy and tight visual effects aside, there’s not much depth or interest for me in Alita: Battle Angel.
When the plot isn’t interesting and you find the characters are so poorly written, it’s hard to get involved in much else the movie has to offer.
Quite the bloody affair (but without the blood), Alita: Battle Angel struggles to make an impact. A few enjoyable fight scenes are no match for two dimensional, ironically robotic characters with some poor writing and direction.
Then again, It’s a Robert Rodriguez movie: you don’t exactly go for quality entertainment, do you?