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Alita: Battle Angel Review – She Shines but the Rest Lacks Luster

Alita: Battle Angel is now in theaters, and if you’re like me and have zero understanding of the source material that it is based on, then you may walk away feeling a bit underwhelmed in addition to also feeling a bit amazed.

What keeps Alita afloat is Alita herself and Rosa Salazar’s performance, as well as the killer action sequences and visuals in general. Otherwise, most of the supporting cast get grossly shortchanged in terms of developing characters and plot threads they’re embroiled in. Although, I still walked away pleased, and wanting more, so while Alita’s first go round in theaters may not have been her best foot forward, there is great potential in this franchise.

Head on down below to check out the full review.

“Hey now fans of Gunnm, or what I like to call Alita: Battle Angel, Matt Heywood here from EntertainmentBuddha.com to review the live action take on a manga/anime classic. 

First things first, NO, Alita’s overly large eyes aren’t as distracting as they first looked in the film’s trailers, they’re actually quite mesmerizing, but on to the important stuff. 

So, is Alita any good? The short answer is yes, it’s good, and it has some insanely awesome action set pieces and visuals in general to keep your eyes more than entertained, but I feel it left a lot of its character building, and relationship building scenes on the cutting room floor. 

Therefore, what could have been a sci-fi masterpieces full of more drama than geeks are equipped to handle, ends up feeling a bit hollow due to underdeveloped characters and plot threads that leave you wanting more, especially if you are like me and never read or watched the source material. 

Due to what I have to believe were editing room decisions for the sake of runtime, most of the supporting cast to Rosa Salazar’s phenomenal Alita feel drastically underdeveloped in terms of how they fit in the story, and the decisions they make that affect it. 

This issue is most glaring with Hugo, who is a conflicted young man that Alita digs, but who also is a bit shady, as well as Chiren, who is played by the still stunningly beautiful and talented Jennifer Connelly. 

I don’t know if it was Hugo’s actor Keean Johnson, or the way the character was written and directed, but I couldn’t help but be reminded of Hayden Christensen’s performance as Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels every time he was in a scene. Considering he plays a main role and Alita’s love interest, he gets plenty of screen time, which affects the film as a whole. 

Chiren on the other hand suffers from the opposite issue. She’s kept so mysterious that her twisty like move towards the end of the movie feels like it completely came out of nowhere. As in, there are no scenes shown that would remotely hint at her complete change of heart. Her major act just doesn’t seem justified due to how she’s portrayed in the film.

Quite frankly, the entire star studded cast just doesn’t match Alita’s charm, which Salazar expertly perfected. I just love this character, and appreciate her as a new type of kickass female hero. I just wish her supporting cast was given as much narrative attention as her, because it would have made the entire film so much more cohesive and coherent. 

Alita’s end is a bit funky too, and it definitely left me feeling a bit shortchanged, but it also left me wanting more, so while I do think this movie has some seriously underdeveloped characters and plot threads, its universe as a whole is very appealing in a live action setting. The potential is high for this franchise, but the writing and editing has to be on par with the performances and visuals to truly make this franchise as great as it has the potential to be. 

Alita Battle Angel gets a 7 out of 10 review score from Team EB. In  my opinion it leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s still well worth watching in theaters for its visuals, action, and of course Alita herself. 

Thanks for watching, I’m Matt Heywood signing off for EntertainmentBuddha.com, where we make you a better geek, one post at a time.”

Review Summary

Story - 5.5
Cinematography - 8
Sound - 8
Acting - 7
Entertainment Value - 6.5

7

WATCH

Alita: Battle Angel suffers from editing room cuts syndrome, so character development and plot threads are a bit stunted in certain areas, which ultimately cheapens the amazing visuals, action, and the film's standout star, Alita herself.

“Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”

Tags : Alita: Battle Angel
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of EntertainmentBuddha.com where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.