Just two months into 2019, and we already have the first cinematic extravaganza, demanding the big-screen experience. Alita: BattleAngel is hands down one-of-the-finest sci-fi films ever made, not to mention being a truly creative story that comes to life on screen after eons — not needing the support of comic books or YA novels to deliver the goods (for a change, it’s based on a Japanese manga, and thank goodness for that).
No surprises then that it takes James Cameron’s magic wand to come up with a euphoric larger-than-life experience (with due respect to Director RobertvRodriguez, this has Cameron’s stamp all over it), filled with all his sublime hallmarks — immersive world-building, spectacular visuals, absorbing plot development, fleshed-out character arcs, engrossing backstories, with meticulously executed action scenes and several thrilling moments serving as the icing on the cake.
For all its modern chutzpah, this is surreal old-school sci-fi, deeply rooted in a layered narrative and set against a sprawling canvas, where jaw-dropping action sequences serve as an enhancement tool to an already exciting screenplay, rather than a crutch to make up for what a screenplay might lack, and who better than the auteur Cameron to show the young guns how it’s done.
In its own Frankenstein meets Rollerball meets Terminator sort of way, Alita emerges every bit as an inventive, imaginative, and intelligent sci-fi masterpiece that also packs the necessary emotional punch and insists to be watched on the big screen. The only haggle one may have is that proceedings appear a tad stretched toward the end, with a few scenes that could have easily been pruned, but that’s a minor issue in an otherwise great film.
Movified Rating: 4.5/5