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Evan C

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

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I may be in a minority on this, but I cannot remember the last time I hated a movie this much.


My real objections are the story itself. One problem is that this is a story about how the only way to fight a bad guy with a weapon is to get a bigger, better weapon yourself. And then probably get a second weapon in addition to that weapon. It's probably the most pro-gun, pro-NRA movie I've ever seen.

Equally problematically, we're meant to cheer for the protagonist as she becomes more skilled at a lethal cross of football, basketball, and racing which is shown to be as destructive as the gladiator games and the only form of entertainment in this dystopian world. The prize of winning the ultimate championship is passage off of the lower world into Zalem, a blatant stand-in for heaven that is ruled by a God-figure, who is (you'll never see this coming, unless you've seen any other movie ever, or notice how evil all the characters who have connections to Zalem are) the sinister villain who makes everyone's life below a living hell by orchestrating conflicts among criminals, vigilante bounty-hunters, and civilians to keep their attention away from their real enemy.

I suppose that last sentence makes the plot sound potentially interesting, but it's just a series of action film clichés, in which we get to see the protagonist fail and be saved by men since she didn't have a strong enough weapon to kill the bad guy's stooge. Then the one man who gave a half-hearted speech against violence changes his mind and gives the protagonist the better weapon she wanted, but initially he refused, so she can be more powerful, and we get to see the revenge-fueled ass-whooping that the film really cares about.

There is one scene that could be read as an example of the dangers of unreservedly giving yourself to a creepy, predatory dude, but that character gets about 25 second chances, because romantic interest or something. And the character who is the brain-washed puppet of the ultimate villain gets run through with a sword after 0 second chances, because violence is awesome and we need to see the cool sword in use.


It made me feel a little less lonely to read Walter Chaw's even more scathing review.

Edited by Evan C

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Have not seen Alita: Battle Angel yet (and probably won't until home video/streaming), but with all the dunking on James Cameron for supposedly being "bad at writing women," what does the erasure of Laeta Kalogridis as a credited screenwriter mean?

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