When Alita awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido, a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past.
Alita Battle Angel is the result of an idea James Cameron had 10 years ago. He is the writer, producer and was the intended director until a little project called Avatar was green lit for its sequels, yes sequels as in 4. Robert Rodriguez of Sin City, Spy Kids 2 and El Mariachi now steps in and lends his expertise to direct this mammoth undertaking.
Alita is a great movie. It has amazing special effects, an other-worldly feel reminiscent of a cross between Blade Runner and a Terminator planet. The action and fight scenes are exceptional and it has some of the best CG work that has been on the big screen.
The acting is solid all the way around, especially with the lead Rosa Salazar. She brings a depth of emotion and humanity that brings this otherwise cold and mechanical world to life.
The only problem with Alita is that it is not even an origin story as much as a setup for a franchise. We are given four acts that each individually could have been a movie in themselves, but they are only a setup for what is to come.
The other issue the film has is that there is no real character development outside of the lead. Here you have three Academy Award winning actors: Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly and Mahershala Ali and they are never given any room to really breath in their characters.
Alita Battle Angel is a bombastic thrill ride, with some of the best action scenes in recent memory, if only the characters were allowed to come along for the ride.