Well, anything April is running behind. See, we told you were out of ideas.
Actually, it has just been a busy time for the Sci-Fi Malady crew and will continue to be so. However this week we discuss Alita Battle Angel, which is more is more difficult than one might think. There’s nothing movie breaking wrong with Alita. It is not full of J.J Abramsesque plot holes or mystery boxes, it stays mostly true to the source material and is absolutely brilliantly and painstakingly visually rendered. The score is wonderful and the acting is mostly fantastic with an exception or the two. The movie is a quantum leap forward in CGI rendering, producing a computer generated person that can realistically emote and move.
The problem is that story wise there isn’t much here. Alita regains her memory, or some of it, Ido comes to terms with his daughter’s death, Alita’s boyfriend is doing terrible things to get to Zalem, and Vector and Nova are going to kill Alita because they know she has the power to maybe kill them? Although even this doesn’t make sense because Zalem prevailed against and army of Alita’s. How is one actually a threat? We some motorball games, which really serves the same roll as the pod racing scene in a Phantom Menace - add some badly needed action to a dull film - and some pretty cool fight scenes, which again, serve as the lightsaber battles in Phantom Menace.
Alita is an origin story. The problem is origin stories come later, after you develop a character people care about in other movies. Even Phantom Menace was an origin story, telling how Vader, The Emperor and the Empire came to be. The story we should have seen is whatever Alita 2 and maybe 3 will be. After watching Alita fight an epic war to save Iron City from the clutches of Zalem and uplift an entire population of the oppressed, we might care more about a slow, boring origin story.
Again, from a technical film making point of view, Alita is a fine movie. it was just released in the wrong order.