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Paddington rulz ok
4 days ago

Official Discussion - Alita: Battle Angel [SPOILERS]


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Several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido, a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic. When Alita awakens she has no memory of who she is, nor does she have any recognition of the world she finds herself in. Ido tries to shield Alita from her mysterious past while her street-smart new friend, Hugo, offers instead to help trigger her memories. A growing affection develops between the two until deadly forces come after Alita and threaten her newfound relationships.


Robert Rodriguez


screenplay by James Cameron, Laeta Kalogridis, Robert Rodriguez

based on the graphic novel series "Gunnm" by Yukito Kishiro


  • Rosa Salazar as Alita

  • Christoph Waltz as Dr. Dyson Ido

  • Jennifer Connelly as Chiren

  • Mahershala Ali as Vector

  • Edward Norton as Nova

  • Ed Skrein as Zapan

  • Jackie Earle Haley as Grewishka

  • Keean Johnson as Hugo

  • Michelle Rodriguez as Gelda

  • Eiza González as Nyssiana

  • Lana Condor as Koyomi

  • Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Tanji

  • Idara Victor as Nurse Gerhad

  • Marko Zaror as Ajakutty

  • Elle LaMont as Screwhead

  • Leonard Wu as Kinuba

  • Casper Van Dien as Amok

Rotten Tomatoes: 59%

Metacritic: 53/100

After Credits Scene? No

All previous official discussions can be found on /r/discussionarchive

93% Upvoted
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level 1

This is like Aquaman, they tried squeezing all the original story details into one movie. I dunno. I'm very impressed with the graphics and action scenes, other than those, it feels really... half-assed.

level 1

How did I not see that it was Edward Norton wtf

level 1
-1 points · 1 hour ago

It's absolutely amazing that someone could take an hour long OVA and stretch it out in to a 2 hour long feature film and STILL manage to make it feel rushed. This movie may be pretty faithful to the source material but the film makers went all out in trying to avoid an R rating: people say things like "aw crap" and "you little flea", everyone bleeds blue goop, Hugo is jacking arms and legs instead of brains and spines, and the battle coliseum is now a Rollerball arena.

When the live action GITS came out, it was a bust before it even debuted because of the internets accusations of white washing, but at least it had Beat Takeshi and Kaori Momoi in big roles. In Alita, the heroine is done completely in CGI as to curtail having to actually hire any Asian talent, and so we're forced to watch Waltz walk and talk with someone we can tell is not really there just by the way he "looks" at her.

I try not to come off as a film snob but I absolutely hated every inch of this movie from minute one. It's at its worst whenever Yugo is on screen or Ido is engaging with Alita. It's completely devoid of the gritty violence of Gunm and feels like a Transformers movie but for an even younger target audience. I'm dumbfounded that this was over a decade in the making when it looks so slapped together. Like where did all that money go? Even the extras look like they showed up to set with whatever they wore from home.

Hollywood is so desperate to get people off their couch and back to the theaters that they're rebooting shit from the 90s (that isn't even from their side of the planet) and expecting it to work in the 2010's. Every single opening trailer for this movie was a remake or a reboot or a sequel of something that hasn't been hit for over a decade and I should have regarded it as a sign of what was to come.

level 2

It's based on a manga, which the ova was also based on.

level 3

Yeah I know.

level 1
7 points · 2 hours ago

Hugo is the biggest useless male supporting character since that kid in A Wrinkle In Time.

How can Chiren works for the mafia and expect to "just quit"? Also her transition from the "I'm doing whatever it takes to go back to Zalem" to "I'm also a mother" was too abrupt, making it very hard to relate.

I enjoy the CGI and the battle scenes though. Also I like Alita a lot. How can a cyborg has more personality than all the person characters but I guess that's the point of the movie.

level 1

The action was excellent, definitely some of the best I've seen in recent films. It truly translates the type of action that is seen in anime. The movie overall was very enjoyable and was a great action film. Rosa Salazar was dope as Alita.

The love interest was VERY wank though, and perhaps the movie suffered a bit for their romance played a large role in the film. Didn't mind him dying at all.

level 2

Agreed, it was a truly terrible aspect to the story. zzz

level 1

Why were Chirens organs being harvested?

level 2

There was a black market for organs in Zalem. That's the only way people from down below got to go up there.

level 1

Reminded me of a Wachowski movie. Big, beautiful, top shelf fight choreography, well built from a technical standpoint. But also perhaps too ambitious and a bit incoherent. Swinging for the fences with an 'earnest to a fault' presentation that moves at a pace that doesn't much care if you are keeping up/familiar with the source material or not.

It also felt like maybe 4 or 5 movies spliced together in a way that I couldn't help but think 'this would have been a better Netflix series than feature length film'. As is, the whole thing felt a bit muddled at times. But when I stopped and thought of it more episodically it made a bit more sense. I can't help but wonder if the movie would have benefitted straight up by having designated chapter breaks.

Still, I enjoyed it overall and it's cool that a movie like this was even made in the first place.

My only relationship with the IP was having seen the anime movie on TV one time when I was a kid, so it was basically all new to me.

This movie also felt like it really wanted to be R-rated. Several moments where it felt like it had to begrudgingly hold its punches.

Ultimately. I'm not quite sure who this movie is 'for', but probably if it's for you, you know about it and will go see it anyway.

level 2
4 points · 2 hours ago

I don't understand the criticism of it being muddled or messy. Or maybe it's because the manga chapters that are relevant were fresh in my mind that might have helped.

I think they did an excellent job of bringing the different plot threads together. Weaving them together so that they make more cohesive sense. It's a much more tighter story than the source. For example, the motorball arc comes in way later, but they introduce it early to be weaved into the Hugo arc (motivation for Hugo to set up Alita during her try outs).

If you feel it better sense to break it up into separate episodes then if course it would because that's how the source material worked. The different arcs very loosely transition to the other.

As for wanting a hard R, again the source material is shockingly gory and violent when I first read it, but of course I should have expected that from 80s to early 90s Japanese cyberpunk (see Akira). If it feels like it's pulling punches it definitely wanted to tone it down for a wider audience by making the brutality of the Alita world more implied.

level 2

Your '4 or 5 movies spliced together' is pretty on point; the movie is a combination of the first 4 books if the series. Not sure why they felt the need to pack it all in together, but ultimately I enjoyed it (although I am a diehard Alita fan)

level 1

I am glad that this movie exists, and I enjoyed watching it, even though I didn't think it was particularly good. There is plenty to like here though - the CGI characters are wonderfully realized, and the action sequences had me in awe. The production design is really strange and so unabashedly goofy that it is very charming. And the movie finds space in its crowded story for small, humanizing character moments. For example, the movie takes its time showing Alita's experience of waking up for the first time and getting used to her limbs. Or how Dr. Ido places a glass right-side up when he enters in the bar fight scene. Between the obviously impressive set pieces, small moments like those hint that this movie had potential to be a bit more than spectacle. It's unfortunate that it doesn't really capitalize on it.

The central problem is the meandering and disjointed plot structure. It is so obvious that this movie is trying to condense down a lot of material from another source. Scenes just happen without proper setup and characters just do things without proper motivation. The big motorball sequence is a prime example of this. The scene establishes this tense scenario where Alita is facing off against a crew of dangerous opponents. She finds out its a set up just before it starts, but participates anyways. But why? At this point in the story she doesn't have a good reason to compete, it just got suggested by Hugo in the previous scene as a way to make money. This sequence that feels like the big climactic action sequence of the whole movie, but it feels like it is happening for almost no reason. This motorball sequence shifts into a totally different sequence and doesn't return to the motorball game, furthering the feeling that things are happening without sufficient justification.

The movie kinda feels like short vignettes strung together, likely a result of the manga source material its based on. Like, now let's have an alley fight, now let's explore a spaceship, now let's have a bar fight, etc. That might have worked, but it still needed a consistent thrust to the plot. Our protagonists do not want a single, consistent thing throughout the movie (except Hugo, I'll get to him) so as a result, our protagonists feel very passive in the plot. The villains want Alita, but its not particularly clear why - to get her heart, for some reason? Or her body? Or to just kill her because she's dangerous? Or to get revenge? It's not clear, and that's a problem.

Aside from the movie not flowing well from scene to scene, the characters also really suffer from the disjointed plot. None of the characters feel like they get a complete arc. Ido is good example of this, where there is good conflict setup with his character - he is still dealing with the death of his daughter, which affects his relationship with Alita, and leads to him being overprotective - but it isn't satisfactorily resolved. His arc ends like halfway through the movie, when he gives Alita her new body after the second fight with Grewishka thus accepting her independent will to be a warrior, but it's not really clear why that change occurred in him. And then after that point, the movie don't really have anything left for the character to do. We don't even see him react to the other major events that occur.

Honestly, even the portrayal was a bit flat, I kind of liked Hugo simply because he had a clear goal that he was actively trying to achieve. He has the most complete arc of any character: He wants to move beyond his circumstances to Zalem, and to do so he finds himself doing dirty work for Vector. He is ok with assaulting cyborgs until he falls for Alita, so he tries to change his ways, but it's already too late. He ends up 'dying' for what he's done, and then 'resurrected' in a cyborg body - a fitting end for someone who didn't treat cyborgs well before. Unfortunately, when his arc is basically complete, the movie just keeps going. Hugo runs off and gets himself killed again and it's bizarre for how unwarranted it feels. It is such an unforced error. It is clearly supposed to be the final big emotional hit to end the movie with, but it falls totally flat.

Other characters have their own problems. Alita feels very passive in her own story, and she doesn't have a clear motivation until near the end of the movie. The motivations of Vector and Grewishka and Zapan are seriously lacking, as mentioned. Chiren's story of redemption definitely got cut apart somewhere in editing. And why was Dr. Ido's assistant even in this movie? She did literally nothing.

Now I'm sure the presence of all these faulty elements and incomplete plot threads make sense if you are familiar with the source material, but that doesn't really matter. An adaptation should know how to alter the story to make it better fit the medium.

Still, despite the flaws, I would still recommend this movie to anyone even a little bit interested. It is strange and silly and charming and very visually impressive. It was a refreshing movie just because it felt different than almost anything else I've seen recently. I'll be surprised if the sequel it sets up comes to be, but if it does I'll go see that opening weekend too.

level 2

Agreed with almost all of this. The movie really did have too much going on without clear goals or intents for many of the characters

level 1

One of the best action movies I've seen. I loved it. My brother loved it.

level 1

Something about Grewishka bothered me deeply but I couldn't figure out what it was at first. Finally I realized it was Jackie Earle Haley's voice, which sounds exactly like it did in the Nightmare on Elm Street remake.

I hate his rendition of Freddy so much that it's been buried in my subconscious. As a whole though, Alita was fine.

level 1

As a big fun of battle angel alita I have read al the manga I think that this movie is amazing. The world the character of alita the fights the mythology the motorball the visuals the sound I need a sequel known. Thank you Robert and James and Salazar for your amazing performance

level 1

I watched it last night. I've been a huge Alita fan since I read the comics as a teenager back in the 90s. I was very apprehensive watching this movie, as I thought it'd turn out like all other anime adaptations.

I was amazed by this movie. Probably the most faithful adaptation I've ever seen.

My one gripe was Nova. Weird they placed him in Zarem, considering he's an outcast in the comics. It felt like it was an attempt to force in an "people above oppressive, oppression bad" theme. I suspect it was Laeta Kalogridis' work, as the did the same thing in Altered Carbon.

level 2
2 points · 1 hour ago

I'm surprised they introduced Nova early. But it makes sense so it doesn't feel out if left field "I'm was behind it all... Sort of...". Yeah, Nova was responsible for creating Mukaku/Grewishka, but that's it. He didn't do much else involving that villain. And he sets enemies against Alita for seemingly no reason other than to watch the world burn. Truly chaotic neutral. Maybe they want to set him up to be outcast later as he does say he was kicked out for his questionable human experiments.

level 3

Nova's name crops up a couple of times in the early comics, but yeah I agree it was a surprise they introduced him on the movie. It felt a lot more like 'Alita Vs Zarem' whereas in the comics she ends up working FOR Zarem to hunt Nova!

level 1
8 points · 4 hours ago

I just watched this movie 2 hours ago in 3D. It is by far one of the best action movies I have seen. The beginning of the movie was quite mysterious and action packed then the middle of the movie slowed down a bit and was a bit predictable but then the movie had more twists and action at the end. Overall, it had me guessing and I couldn't predict the end and the way it ended was great.. So good that I didn't know it was ending. I just wished they put someone else besides Christoph Waltz because he kept reminding me of Inglorious Basterds because he had such a memorable role in that movie.

level 1
10 points · 4 hours ago · edited 4 hours ago

This is the best anime adaptation to date, and while that might not be big praise considering the competition in that field. I do feel like Rodriguez has accomplished something pretty great here. It is true to the source mateiral both in the story and look and feel. IMO the BIGGEST part of making an anime adaptation successful is to ACTUALLY use the art style presented. That stuff is iconic and is usually a big part of the actual world building. People like to use that meme of "The Manga>the Anime>The Netflix adaptation" and it's 100% true. This desire of western adaptations to completely throw out the actual art style is terrible, and it makes it feel generic. IMO this movie at least looks and feels like its own thing.

I really loved this movie. I thought Rosa Salazar was great as Alita herself. The corny early scenes of her discovering stuff was really well done, and extremely charming to me. The overall plot has a good direction and a great collection of fun and interesting characters. I'll also say it was funny watching people get so visibly angry at the dog being killed. This movie also felt PG-13 to me. Sure they made all the blood blue but it still had this cool dingy violent quality to it that really reminded me of an 80s film in the best way. Stuff like Alita slicing that guys face off was such a Rodriguez moment and done so fucking well.

I hope this film ends up doing well. I honestly feel like it will be the foreign markets that decide its fate.

level 2

unpopular opinion: "live-action anime" is bit of a misnomer. How come we never call MCU "live-action cartoons" or Nolan's the Dark Knight trilogy "live-action adaptation of Batman: Animated Series"?

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