Alita: Battle Angel – Battling Boredom

Rating (2 out of 5)

Summary: “Alita” is a surprisingly dull film, with 3 or 4 decent action sequences. The dry interactions between the characters and the obvious love plot bored the audience.

If you are planning to watch a movie with the family, and you have already seen “Lego 2”, “Alita” might suffice. However, I would see what other options you had first, like bowling or miniature golf.

Plot: Alita’s (Rosie Salazar) head is recovered from the scrap yard by Dr. Ido (Christopher Waltz). He provides her with a new cybernetic body. She doesn’t recall who she is, but Dr. Ido knows more than he is telling. The story is based on the Japanese comic “Gunnm”.

Detail: I can’t imagine the difficulty of taking a comic like “Gunnm” and translating the story for the big screen. Unfortunately, the writers of this unsuccessful adaption sacrificed delving further into Alita, presuming there is a sequel, and focused on the love story.

I don’t understand why directors and writers think the audience requires 20 minutes of kissing and falling in love. Buying a chocolateĀ bar, a kiss communicates to your intelligent audience the two characters are in love. The love overpowered Alita, rather than Alita owning the screen.

I don’t mind love in movies I watch, for example, the love story in “Odd Thomas” was smartly interwoven into the action of the film. Love is a pivotal motivator for any character, but the director should avoid wasting important minutes exploring the depth of love.

The film is almost devoid of any humor. Without the humor, the intensity needed to be dialed up. The absence of lively dialog or interaction between the characters hurt “Alita”. Dr. Ido is a key figure. The doctor moonlights as a bounty hunter with a rocket-propelled hammer. Despite his cool side occupation Dr. Ido demonstrates relatively no passion. There is a nurse (Idara Victor) who works with Dr. Ido, who only barely has two lines. Instead of having her talk back to the doctor, she just stands there silently.

The actions scenes were enjoyable. The alley scene quickly established Alita’s power. A quick battle, but entertaining deaths. The wittiest part of the film occurred in the bar for bounty hunters. The speedball scene with Alita harkens back to “Rollerball” and made me smile. If it hadn’t been for the actions sequences, “Alita” would have been a dud.

Finally, the end. I couldn’t have been more pissed off. We didn’t find out the details about Alita’s or the villain’s Nova (Edward Norton) history. The movie ends about 1/2 way through telling a story, setting up a sequel, that I have no desire to watch. My rating dropped .5 because the ending upset me tremendously.