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Alita: Balance Angel

A Movie That Knows How To Balance Camp And Drama

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The new movie, Alita: Battle Angel, has proven itself to be more than a dumb action flick, as the trailers may have led some to believe, and instead it is a light hearted adventure which has something for the whole family. Alita is a February 2019 film based on the manga Battle Angel Alita by Yukito Kishiro. As with any adaption, it takes liberties with the source material.

In this case, the differences are not as noticeable or irritating, since the source material is rather obscure. To most, it came as a mild surprise during the credits to see “based on the manga.” In the case of some reviews, this prevents the bias of it being judged on its faithfulness to the source.

As of March 11, the movie has earned 400 million dollars, the necessary estimated amount for the film to break even. At the rate it’s going, it will need to earn about 100 million more for the sequel teased at the end to be feasible.

This is not as far fetched as it may sound. It appears as though it’s extended run will continue, especially in China, which has garnered an in impressive 300 million dollars for the movie. If it takes the Spiderverse route and stays in theaters a few more months, it is very possible this threshold will be passed.

Alita allows us to explore a world with an Elysium like societal dichotomy. In the sky is the city of Zalem, inhabited by the elite. On the ground, live the poor and lower middle class. Many of them choose to augment themselves with advanced prosthetics either out or necessity or simply to enhance their strength.

Early on, the audience learns how the lower class functions. In order to earn money, many turn to becoming hunter warriors, people who kill those who commit a crime and thus have a bounty placed on them. Others choose to steal parts from cyborgs and sell them on the black market.

A romantic subplot which begins early on takes a turn for the cheesy occasionally, such as when Alita gets an upgraded body which increases her sensitivity to touch. The scene ends with the two kissing in the rain.

Despite the campy moments here and there, the film does an excellent job of balancing them out with less over the top, better crafted dramatic moments that may tug at the heart strings of some viewers.

The world building is amazing, and while the romance can be over the top at times, it is mostly heart warming. Alita is a great movie which is best experienced in the theater with others.  

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Alita: Balance Angel