Alita: Battle Angel Can’t Find Its Cyborg Heart, Relies on Visual Style and Sentimentality Instead

This post is by Emily Asher-Perrin from Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content

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A project that has been well over a decade in the making, Alita: Battle Angel is based on a 1990s manga and anime that centers on a cyborg teenage girl trying to remember her past. Unfortunately, Hollywood’s less-than-optimal track record in adapting from these mediums holds stronger than ever. Though writers James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis had years to develop their script, and eventually brought Robert Rodriguez on board as director, Alita is a muddled film that packs in action at the expense of substance and relies on Cameron’s worst storytelling impulses.

While the sets and fight sequences are complex and occasionally impressive, the over reliance on computer generated characters and locales are frequently distracting and at times unbearable. It doesn’t help that the titular character is hidden behind layer-upon layer of uncanny CGI. Played by Rosa Salazar, it’s impossible to tell if any good acting went into the performance ...