Reinvent Life in “Alita: Battle Angel”
“Alita” is about the young woman defining herself, discovering her power within, and falling deeply in love.
By Jon Ochiai
It’s Earth 2563. In the aftermath of the apocalyptic War, resurrected wide-eyed cyborg Alita, embodied by youthfully resilient Rosa Salazar, woefully tells kind human friend Hugo, played by spirited Keean Johnson, “I’m just an insignificant girl.” Yet, from her simple origin, the Hero arises in Producer James Cameron and Director Robert Rodriguez’s futuristic “Alita: Battle Angel”. The screenplay by James, Robert and Laeta Kalegridis is based upon creator Yukito Kishiro’s popular Manga “Gunnm”.
Cybernetics surgeon Dr. Dyson Ido, played by sincere Christoph Waltz, recovers the remnants of the young cyborg girl in a city junk heap. Her brain is alive in the cybernetic shell. Ido re-engineers the robotic body of his late daughter Alita, whom tragically died years previously. When this “Alita” awakes, she has no memory of who she is. She reinvents her life from zero, along with fatherly Ido.
When human Alita died, her distraught Mother Chiren, beautiful icily sullen Jennifer Connelly, left Ido. Revered scientist Chiren becomes the lover of powerful nefarious Vector, played by charismatic Mahershala Ali, who deals in black market cybernetics and runs the Iron City Motorball Games. Motorball is the shiny loud CGI upgrade of roller derby or “Rollerball” from that 1975 movie. Deadly contestants race on roller-skates on a treacherous track attempting to push a metal ball into a hole.
Elevated above populous industrial Iron City is the sky city Zalem, possessing advanced technology. Perhaps, cyborg Alita is artifact of Zalem technology? Both Ido and Chiren were both born on Zalem, and were banished to Iron City. If Chiren helps Vector prosper in the Motorball Games she can regain access to Zalem. She will be free to return home.
The Writer’s solemn futuristic narrative turns complicated. In 2563 there is no law enforcement to protect citizens from a renegade cyborg. The secret society of Hunter-Warriors, a group of bounty hunters, take down cyborg criminals. In high-stakes action, Alita discovers her great physical prowess and martial arts skills as…