Going into the theater on Saturday afternoon, I had absolutely no idea what was in store for me. I hadn’t seen a single trailer. All I had to go off of was the title from which I inferred that it’s about an Alita and she’s a battle angel. Whatever that means. I was not prepared at all for what happened next.
Watching “Alita: Battle Angel” was a jaw-dropping experience in every sense of the word. From the very first screencap, I was instantly enraptured by the breathtaking scenery and towering landscape of the world. Every frame had a level of detail and clarity that seemed better than my eyesight. To put it simply, it was just absolutely stunning.
Then we meet Alita, a humanoid cyborg completely clueless about how she ended up in a giant junkyard in the Iron City, the last remaining vestige of humanity of the surface of the Earth, and why. Following her really cute and bumbling attempts at comprehending her own existence and the existence of just about everything else, we explore the dystopian society that has resulted from the Fall, an intergalactic war fought 300 years before. Through her exploration, we uncover bit by bit pieces of Alita’s lost memory that lead us to discover who she is and why she happens to be so deadly in a fight.
A lot of things happened in this movie. Two hours worth of things. But even so, at the end, I found myself wishing it was longer. Even hours later I caught myself thinking, “I wish I was still watching ‘Alita.’”
Action-packed to the last second, the movie had me literally grasping for something to hold on to as our cyborg heroine fought her way through and out of impossible standoffs. My anxiety was through the roof at certain points throughout the movie.
In terms of world-building, “Alita” did a pretty solid job at sliding things in naturally through Alita’s search for answers. Every location was impressive in its own way. A particular underwater scene was my favorite.
The movie was so completely immersive, I felt more than a little disoriented when the director’s name came across the screen and the theater lights began to brighten. I immediately wanted to watch it again and most likely will before the sequel, which was set up perfectly by the ending, comes out.
Until then I’m diving into the manga and anime “Alita: Battle Angel” was based on just to recreate the full-body sense of wonder I felt in the theater.
When “Alita: Battle Angel 2” inevitably comes out (and soon, I hope), I’ll be ready.