Thank goodness that when we grow tired of all those movies made from comic book heroes, along comes a movie made from a Japanese comic book hero. But before you throw up your hands in dismay, take note.
James Cameron wrote the script (with helpers). He also wrote the script for “Titanic” and “Avatar.” Each of these films for a while held the title for highest grossing films of all time. Like the previous films, “Alita” breaks new ground in a spectacular way. People like visual films like this that delight the eye and entertain with a vast and lavish hand.
And entertain us it does. I saw it in 2D but you can see it in 3D if you like. The motion capture technology, or Biomation, continues to evolve. Camera guys film live actors with dozens of sensors on their bodies. That captures the motion of the actor which they transfer digitally to make the animated movie. Cool beans. The characters are a mix of human actors and human actors captured by Biomation and made to look authentic but who might have sawblades for hands.
Star Rose Salazar has some 41 acting credits on her sheet, so although she is new to me, she is not new to acting. At 34 she plays a much younger woman but has the athletic drive to pull it off. Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly and Mahershala Ali (direct from his success as the star of “The Green Book”) and Jackie Earle Haley round out the best known cast members.
Director Robert Rodriguez has a long string of successful and blood drenched films to his credit. He made the entertaining “Matador” series set in Mexico, two “Machete” films and the blood banquet zombie film “Planet Terror.” He has toned down the blood and guts for this PG-13 film.
People who like big blockbuster films with enjoy this one too. The special effects are new and fun to see. There is a love story for us and a villain who has the kind of unspeakable evil that we react to viscerally. “Alita: Battle Angel” will go down as the biggest and best cyborg (part human, part machine) movie ever made. If you want lots of action, characters you can invest in, an interesting and deeply developed futurescape and a great leap in movie tech, watch this.
People who like movies that make you think will not enjoy this one.
The estimated budget of $150 million to $200 million demands our attention. The mild PG-13 film runs for two hours and two minutes. This four saw blade movie will be a must see for film fans across the world who want something new.
Watch for a very quick logo change where the famous Fox logo changes to 26th Century Fox to reflect the future time depicted in the movie.
Fun Fact: Director Robert Rodriguez has used Danny Trejo as the star of the two “Machete” films. They are second cousins.
Good news, in pre-production now is the third film in the “Machete” series, “Machete Kills in Space.” Can’t wait for that one.
Actual people who paid money to see this movie gave it a 93 percent positive rating. Professional critics like me who were paid to watch it only gave it a 60 percent positive. You be the judge.