5 Ups and 1 Down From Alita: Battle Angel | Neoskies Spoiler Review
My first experience with Alita was in February 2019 when it was released in cinemas and believe me I wasn’t impressed.
I thought it to be mediocre at best, with a weak plot and bland characters. So when I decided to rewatch the movie last week, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought that my experience with the Cyberpunk genre would make me see Alita through a different perspective, so I gave it a second chance.
Here are the 5 things I liked and the 1 thing I didn’t about Alita (2019).
Antagonists are BORING
One of the strongest downfalls of the film is the bland antagonists, especially, Nova (Edward Norton). He was mentioned throughout the movie yet, I wasn’t curious to see more of him. Nova didn’t really leave a lasting impression on me whenever he appeared in a scene or possessed one of his minions. He was very forgettable, in fact, it wasn’t until someone would mention his name that I would remember that he was a character that existed in this universe.
Speaking of minions
Vector (Mahershala Ali) is another forgettable character in the film and a generic anatoginst. His only purpose was to serve Nova and be an obstacle in Alitia’s path, the typical objective of a minion. When I saw that Mahershala Ali was going to be in the film, I had high expectations for his character. However, I was let down by Vector’s plain characteristics and he ended up being a typical henchmen.
Grewishka (Jackie Earle Haley), another one of Nova’s minions and Zapan (Ed Skrein), a hunter, were the only two antagonists who had interesting personalities. Grewishka is very cocky about his strength and took everyone at face value, so when Alitia defeated him for the first time it was interesting to see him have to eat his words and realise that he wasn’t the strongest person in the room.
Zapan is cocky as well but in a different sense. He knows he’s skilled and his death count illustrates his strength in combat. He knows he’s feared and he uses that to his advantage - I like that he’s so aware of how he makes people feel, it’s always interesting to see how people react to him.
I wish Zapan could have been put in a more compelling arc because I love Ed Skrein’s acting and I feel a more prominent place in Alita’s storyline, would’ve given him a better chance to shine.
5. The First Teenage Romance That Didn’t Make Me *Roll My Eyes*
I remember when I watched this movie for the first time and I saw the relationship between Hugo and Alita, I thought it was a ‘typical’ YA (Young Adult) romance and I was not interested at all… well expect that I found Hugo attractive BUT that’s besides the point!
However, when I watched it again, there was something about their relationship that I loved. And it had nothing to do with their chemistry but the fact that they both gave each other something the other didn’t have.
Hugo’s adventurous lifestyle encouraged Alita to escape from her reality of strict rules and into the world where no rules applied. This sense of freedom and doing what she wanted helped Alita find her love for Motorball and learn a lot more about the Iron City. I believe it’s these characteristics she gained from Hugo that helped her in many situations throughout the movie.
Alita’s astounding courage and power is what I believe encouraged Hugo to say no to crime, she inspired him to trust in his dreams and continue to hope for a chance to live in Zalem.
It’s these positive influences that they have on each other that made me love their relationship and route for their success throughout the movie.
4. LEMME PLAY SOME MOTORBALL BABY!
This is one of the most exciting sports I’ve seen in a film since Speed Racer! It was so entertaining and fun to watch! If the entire film was about Motorball I wouldn’t even complain I promise you that.
Not to mention Alita absolutely killed it when she played this sport, she was deadly, aggressive and innovative with her offensive.
It’s also intriguing that the most dangerous and deadly sport is the only way you can get to Zalem...Would you risk your life at a chance to end up in the grand city? I know I wouldn’t!
3. Zalem - The True Antagonist Of The Movie
Despite being viewed as a grand sanctuary by those that lived in the Iron City, Zalem fed those that lost hope with dreams of a better future, corrupting many to partake in evil deeds just to get a chance of living in its haven.
Many of the main characters fell victim to the city’s lies, for example Hugo, who committed various crimes in order to one day be allowed to live in the city. I found this interesting because Nova used the desperation and hopes of those in the Iron City to get them to do his dirty work, which is not only clever but very cruel.
I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to live in a world like this.
2. Alita’s Origins
I really loved the flashbacks that showed Alita’s past life. Seeing her fighting alongside her comrades on the moon made me curious to where she truly came from. These little insights into who she was before Doctor Ido (Christopher Waltz) found her in the scrapyard recall a time when Alita was a warrior.
I would have loved to see this further explored in a sequel but with no word on whether a future installment would be made, it seems we can only imagine or refer to the manga for answers to her past.
1. Heart of Gold Becomes a Heart of Stones
One of the main things I liked about Alita is that she allowed herself to feel. Whether it was her reaction to eating an orange for the first time (which she found had a sour taste) or when she fell in love with Hugo, Alita experienced the world with a naive innocence.
However, this outlook on life was later destroyed by the death of Hugo, which caused her to harden her heart and close off her emotions. I believe she thought this was the only way she could truly defeat Nova and the corrupt influence of Zalem.
Once again I wished I could have seen what would have become of Alita now that she has a heart of stone and the effect this may have on her.
Overall, I absolutely loved this movie, it was definitely worth the rewatch and I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for a film to watch that has a relatable protagonist who is high spirited and an absolute badass!
Have you seen Alita: Battle Angel? What were your thoughts about the movie? Let me know in the comments below!