Half full? Absolutely. Maybe a little more so than half. Because for much of its runtime, I had tons of fun watching Alita. Coming off my last CGI heavy movie experience (Venom 2018), Alita was a breath of fresh air for my eyeballs because it looks incredible. And that really does it a lot of favors, because in a very action heavy movie it really helps to be amazed by what you’re seeing in every tussle and bout of robotic fisticuffs. The action scenes are fast well-choreographed and for someone who hasn’t been a fan of action movies for a while now, this movie really took me back to being a kid and getting sucked into these brawls, waiting for what punch of finishing blow would come next. The story isn’t bad by any means but some of it’s supporting characters and their side story arcs really drag down the movie (More on that later). Another thing the movie does well is spread its high intensity scenes well because it never lingers too long on the slower moments.
Which are the weakest points in the film. Because let’s be honest, the brutality Alita shows to the criminals of Iron City, Hugo, Alita’s human friend, does to the plot of this film. If I can give advice to someone planning to watch this movie, it would be to take a bathroom break every time Hugo is on the screen. Because holy mother of bad dialogue and forced love interest, the way his character was handled was BAD. Besides that, there is also a hilarious flashback in the middle of the movie that is supposed to be heartfelt and impactful but is robbed by how nonsensical it is.
And the thing is, if the romantic relationship in the film and this flashback were to have been handled a little better, I would have something to talk about. But they really weren’t and because of that, this movie really isn’t sad. I would say… a 3 on the pain scale.
Alita Battle Angel is definitely a film worth checking out and taking it one step further, something you should definitely watch in theatres for the full experience. It is tons of fun and benefits from not having you sit through its bad moments for too long. It’s fast paced and jumps from big sequence to big sequence which make its two-hour run time easy to get through. There’s tons to enjoy but yeah, if you need to grab popcorn, it’s probably best to do so when Hugo is going on about his dreams or whatever it is he’s talking about.