By Michael Foster-Sanders/campus editor
Films with strong female leads that are portrayed realistically are rare in cinema.
Alita: Battle Angel is about a world where cyborgs and humans live together after the great war. Dr. Dyson Ido is a cybernetic doctor who works repairing cyborgs and doubles as a bounty hunter who hunts rogue, cyborg criminals because his daughter was murdered.
While collecting scrap for his practice, he comes across the head of a young cyborg and decides to play Dr. Frankenstein by fusing the it with a cybernetic body he made for his disabled daughter.
And Alita is born.
The movie is about discovery, women empowerment and overcoming adversity.
Visionary James Cameron decided to adapt the manga origins as “Battle Angel Alita” to the big screen back in 2003 to Americanized it as Alita, and it was an uphill battle getting it achieved. Cameron decided to let Texas native and blockbuster director Robert Rodriguez direct the film due to his commitments to the Avatar series and not wanting to let this film sit on the back burner any longer.
The visual style of the movie could easily be set in Cameron’s Terminator universe because its influence is all over this film. From the dystopian backdrop to the design of the cyborgs, Cameron’s cinematic visuals are a treat for the eye. But Rodriguez’s action-packed storytelling is what brings it all together.
It feels right for the first movie in a series. Flashbacks didn’t feel out of place, and the narrative was tight and cohesive so viewers could understand Alita and grow with her.
3D movies are often cash grabs, but in the universe of Alita, it’ll immerse the audience further into its universe and have them wondering how the director pulled it off.
A big part of why Alita works are the veteran actors behind the characters. Oscar winner Mahershala Ali plays the cold, callous villain Vector who goes the distance to acquire Alita parts for his fixed roller derby games. Christoph Waltz displays a father’s protective love with his role as Dr. Ido.
However, the stand out role is Alita who is played by Rosa Salazar. From the moment she is created she brings a childlike quality to the character. As she matures, her voice grows more confident and will have the audience rooting for her victory.
Children who see this movie, especially young girls, will find a role model in Alita, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if she becomes an iconic movie character
Alita has raised the stakes and showed that a big-budget blockbuster doesn’t have to wait until summer to get released.
Don’t hesitate to go see this film.