Evening at the Movies: Alita: Battle Angel

February 13, 2019 Katja Presnal

Alita: Battle Angel – what is it about?

When a friend of ours Alex Alex told she was going to a movie premiere of Alita: Battle Angel in London, I admit, I was “Alita, what?” Thanks to Google I soon learned Alita is based on the manga Gunnm by Yukito Kishiro; so no wonder it was not a movie that had been on my radar. For fans of manga, it was a movie long waited for – James Cameron bought the rights to do Alita movie over fifteen years ago, but massive project called Avatar with its sequels got into way of little cyborg girl Alita.

Watch the trailer – what do you think?

The movie is set on year 2563, in a fallen city of last people on Earth and cyborgs. Dr. Dyson Ido (Christolph Waltz) finds a disembodied core from a junkyard and brings her to life with a new body. When the cyborg wakes, she can’t remember anything from her past, even her name, and Dr. Ido names her Alita. Alita (Rosa Salazar) learns she was not just an ordinary girl, but a warrior. Even as I type this, there is nothing here I can say that enticed me to go to the movies to watch Alita.

Alita: Battle Angel – what I thought of the movie

Perhaps because I had zero expectations, I enjoyed the movie! It’s an incredible example what computer-generated filmography can be these days. Although perhaps because our expectations are so high these days, it didn’t give the same goosebumps-wow-effect than Avatar did years ago or many sci-fi or space movies do.  But it’s because Avatar, Star Wars and sci-fi movies are computer-generated movies placed in imaginary worlds.

Alita is live-action movie in a somewhat real-looking city, with an animated character. As the movie’s producer James Cameron says: it’s all about the close-up, and whether you can believe from the close-up that the character is real. And Alita felt as real as the other (human) characters of the movie. And that’s when you realize the movie really delivers it – Alita’s character feels real, not an animation. I recommend seeing Alita in IMAX 3D, I read that the scenes are much larger in size and there is 26% more to see in some scenes.

I was not expecting a female empowerment movie, but ultimately that’s what Alita is trying to be. Alita starts as someone who thinks she is insignificant, but becomes this bad ass fighter with compassion and caring which seem to be rare, in 2500’s especially. She falls in love with a guy, and would literally give her heart to him (really, she rips her mechanical heart out of her chest in the scene), but ultimately learns he was not what she expected. The high-impact fighting scenes are not even what makes her so empowering, but it’s her emotional vulnerability, and the ability to love and forgive. As she found herself, she fearlessly went after what she wanted, no questions asked.  The world is a harsh place though, and on the end I am not sure how much love and compassion is left in her as she fights in this roller derby-fight club-basket ball-type of sports where cyborgs throw this motorball and try to win their way to a sky city Zalem, where she wants to go just to destroy it. Why? It is unknown. Does she make it? See it in the sequel.

The movie leaves you wanting more – by design of course – but what, I am not sure, the storyline still stays a little thin. But one thing is for sure, I will be rooting for Alita, wherever she will be kicking ass the next time.

Alita: You made the biggest mistake of your life.
Vector: And what’s that?
Alita: Underestimating who I am.

And what did the others think of the movie?

“The movie was extraordinary, and not just because of the story or the powerful female lead. For me what really awed me was the CGI. I’ve seen Lord of the Rings and Avatar, both which used motion capture, but the technology has advanced so much in the past 10 years that every little detail in Rosa Salazar’s performance is captured in her character Alita.” Video artist Isabella Presnal.

“Incredible well executed, and so breathtakingly gorgeous that I felt dizzy at times when watching the movie.” Riina, fashion designer of Burlesque Tsunami.

“Alita was quite an impressive experience in the massive IMAX theatre, with stunning graphics and a fascinating world to dive into. Although I think there’s room for improvement in the depth of the plot and the development of the whole storyline, I enjoyed meeting Alita who, despite being a cyborg, is such a likeable character! My favourite? The “Titanic” moment – did anyone else chuckle?” Kathrin Deter, owner of Luminoucity, and influencer marketing consultant.

“I was so inspired by Alita: Battle Angel. It’s all  about being true to yourself and that really spoke to me on a deeper level. The movie left me feeling empowered to kick some ass in life  – while being true to myself!” Film talent and influencer Alex Alex .

“Alita was exciting and amusing. Like the main character, a mix of sweetness and badass warrior, the plot itself is a good mix of entertainment, comfort zone and surprise. That, altogether with the awesome photography and all the technology put into it. Not only the action but even the acting was good by both real performers and the motion capture ones.” Photographer and photography teacher Alejandro Lorenzo.

And don’t forget to check out Alex’s vlog from her trip to London!


Movie shots via 20th Century Fox.

Event photos: Alejandro Lorenzo

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Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal shows how to live Nordic inspired life to the fullest and plan your dream life. Katja owns Presnal5 strategic marketing intelligence agency and wants to help marketing professionals to combine a dream career and dream life via freelance work.Katja is an award-winning marketing strategist, and a well-known speaker. Katja has lived in five different countries, and seven states in the USA. Her three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks.