True to his habits, Terminator’s father is only there to offer a ton of special effects, which are intended to be particularly disheartening.
Who would have thought that James Cameron would team up with Robert Rodriguez? The fantasy of action lovers was fulfilled with Alita: Battle Angel, a $200 million blockbuster. Without being as catastrophic as expected (the release date of the film has changed more than once, which is never a good sign), the result would have deserved to be more memorable.
Especially since fans of Yukito Kishiro’s manga gunnm have been waiting for this adaptation for two decades. And as was the case with the recent conversion to the Ghost in the Shell cinema, the effort will leave a lot of ice. It is the neophytes who are at risk of getting their kicks.
At first glance, there is nothing very original in this dystopian future at the Hunger Games and Divergent, where a cyborg clothing the body of a teenage girl discovers super powers. We find ourselves before a classic Pinocchio initiation story. This is predictable and effective, as the scenario co-authored by Cameron loosely vulgarizes complex issues without ever losing its common thread. For surprises, it’s best to see Steven Spielberg’s huge A.I. again.
It is not so much this cyberpunk universe that fascinates – with its multiple loans to Blade Runner, Metropolis and Rollerball – as the aesthetic care provided. True to his habits, Terminator’s father is only there to offer a ton of special effects, which are intended to be particularly disheartening. The technology has become so sophisticated that the synthetic becomes almost real.
This not only gives her the opportunity to be seen, but also to offer some of the most dazzling and spectacular action scenes in recent years. The strong moments follow one another at a rhythm of hell, always remaining legible to the eyes: a fact rare in our time. Especially that he knows how to use 3D better than anyone else. The bigger and more sophisticated the cinema and the more complete the immersion.
Stuck in the director’s seat without necessarily having his hands on the wheel, Rodriguez has little material to bring out his unique style. He succeeded, however, in more violent confrontations, or when the time came to triumph over childish humour. You can mainly feel him having fun without pasticher, which has never happened since the first Sin City. Undoubtedly the spectrum of Wachowski is never very far, except that these are fully assumed influences.
Seen in the last two episodes of The Maze Runner, Rosa Salazar seduces in the title role. Her combination of strength and vulnerability makes her a bigger-eyed hero more interesting than average. She is camping a much more humane entity than her soporific playmate Keean Johnson. The duo is surrounded by excellent actors – Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali – who do not have much to chew on as their characters prove monolithic.
All that would make this production a class entertainment. It gets wasted in the second part of the feature film. Already that history is not terrible, it lets itself be invaded by largesse hardly excusable. Of course, a ridiculous romance will derail the project. Otherwise they are laughable pretexts that will make you sigh (motherhood has a wide back), just like hollow replicas of the type “What I want is not up there” and “Never feel bad about being what you are”.
Like Avatar, Alita: Battle Angel is especially worth a visit for its extraordinary visual effects. Despite its many imperfections, it is almost hoped that the effort will make enough money for a sequel to emerge. ‘Cause the big bad guy’s already looking awfully good…