Based on the popular manga series Gunnm, Alita: Battle Angel sees its titular character (Roza Salazar) fall from the sky and onto a scrapheap.
Rescued by the kindly Dr Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz), Alita must adapt to a new way of life in a different body.
Like with many sci-fi movies about artificial intelligence/cyborg technology, she begins having flashbacks to her previous life.
Assisted by Hugo (Keean Johnson), she takes on dastardly entrepreneur Vector (Mahershala Ali), the mysterious Chiren (Jennifer Connelly), and a band of cyborg assassins.
Shepherded by mega-producer James Cameron (Avatar) and ambitious director Robert Rodriguez (everything from Sin City to Spy Kids), Alita: Battle Angel roars to life.
The movie should be applauded for its dazzling visuals effects and world-building.
Its action sequences are all top notch. A crazy bar-room brawl and a fun game of ‘Motorball’ are just some of the highlights.
The motorball scene is thrilling – pitting Alita against the rules of the game along with an army of bounty hunters, all with different weapons.
That’s where the fun stops, however. Alita: Battle Angel – like The Predator and many blockbusters before it – is defeated by its multitude of plot-lines and characters.
Its characters are given only one or two dimensions each. Worse still, Rodriguez directs his top-notch cast to deliver bland performances.
Several plot-threads are left dangling – setting up a sequel that may or may not happen.
Alita: Battle Angel is gorgeous on the outside but hollow at its core.