Review: Alita: Battle Angel (Garrett’s View)

Alita: Battle Angel is based on the manga series from the early 1990s and has been in development since the early 2000s  — and it shows. The sport of “motorball” is central to the story and is a glorified form of rollerball played by elite cyborg warriors on jet-powered rollerblades which screams “early 1990s”. The shallow dialogue and flimsy, unexplored plot threads harken back to tween films of the same era as opposed to the more fleshed out stories born out of the young adult films of the 21st century. This causes an otherwise impressive cast to come across as stiff and underdeveloped at best. The CGI effects, specifically those used to bring Rosa Salazar’s performance of Alita to life, are the highlight of the film. But outside of the main character herself, the effects do not feel as groundbreaking as they would have in, say, 2009 when another James Cameron CGI-fueled project landed on the scene. To put it bluntly, Alita: Battle Angel feels like it may be the right movie at the wrong time.