I cannot believe it, but this stupid live-action anime adaptation about a robot girl with huge eyes just might be the best movie that’s released this year. It has a shot at being the best action movie of the year, and contains one of my favorite movie moments in recent memory. Despite all of this, the movie has some serious problems that keep it from being the groundbreaking feat it could have been.
Before we get into everything, we need to address the elephant in the room. Alita’s eyes are absolutely massive. At first, they are pretty distracting because there isn’t really anything like them in anything else. Once the movie gets rolling, you don’t really notice them anymore. They just become part of the package. Alita herself, big yes and all, looks really convincing. For example, there is a closeup shot of Alita’s face towards the end of the film that looks so realistic I forgot that the actress doesn’t look like that. Outside of Alita, the movie looks awesome. That word has been used to death in reviews, but it really is fitting here.
Outside of these unreal special effects, “Alita”’s biggest strength is the pulse pounding action pieces it features. The fights are amazingly crafted, and Alita herself moves in a way only a CG character could. She looks like she is dancing gracefully as she rocks some poor cyber-dudes socks off. There is one fight, around the middle part of the film that takes place in the sewers. I won’t spoil it here, but the way that fight ends is so amazing that it makes paying 7 bucks for a ticket and 7 bucks for snacks worth it.
The problems, however, are definitely there. The main issue with the movie is the romantic subplot. “Alita” doesn’t really have any chemistry with the guy, and the detours into love make the movie’s pace feel off-kilter. In addition to this, a few of the lines are kinda funky, feeling like the first draft of a large paper you’ve been procrastinating forever.
These problems detract from what could have been a classic in the action genre. That being said, the fight scenes and visuals make this movie very much worth the price of admission, and I think anyone who likes movies should see this in theaters. A sequel hasn’t been announced yet, but hopefully “Alita” will get another shot on the big screen.
Feature photo courtesy of the Associated Press.