I'll move on and destroy Alita: Battle Angel for you. Not because I'm a cock, but because the disclosure of the end tells you nothing about the plot and will ruin absolutely nothing about the movie. It ends-rolls roll, thanks to Alita (Rosa Salazar), sword in hand, staring down at her enemy, her Big Bad. Then it is cut into black and the credits are playing. The whole movie is a setup for a punchline that never comes.
None of this is to say that the setup is poor. In fact, it's much better than anyone even included imagined it would be. Based on Yukito Kishiros Gunnm manga series and directed by Robert Rodriguez, it is a zippy whose corny, hero story of a young cyborg (Alita), is gathered from the head and shoulders of a long lost robot and the mechanized hands and feet of the dead daughter of gifted cyber surgeon Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz). As amnesiac android tries to unite her life and limb, she discovers extraordinary abilities, develops a love for the roll-derby-cum-basketball sport known as Motorbold, takes over bounty hunters, and realizes she must defeat the aforementioned Big Bad. (She also falls in love because some troops never die.) This is the whole movie. It's a lot of fun, but it tries so hard to become a franchise, it forgets to end.
When Alita first wakes up, chopped together by Ido, she has no memory of her past. She goes agog through the world Ido has brought her in, the giant eyeballs you've heard so much about drinking in everything. But when she meets Hugo (Keean Johnson), who introduces her to Motorbold, the newborn cyborg discovers that she has scary skills. It turns out that her heart and brain are Martian technology. Three hundred years before Ido made Alita there had fallen, a great war with Mars that left cyborgs like Alita discarded, and it left Zalem's big city floating high above Iron City, where Alita, Ido, Hugo and almost everybody else live.
There is a way to get to Zalem by winning Motorball. Champions get up. This will be Alita's goal. It's also Hugo's goal, but his plan is to get to Zalem using Vector (Mahershala Ali), a bully of batsmen who run the Motor Ball and pay Hugo and his friends to steal the robotic leaves to give the players. Oh, too, Vector's boyfriend / partner-in-crime is Chiren (Jennifer Connelly), who happens to be Ido's ex-wife and the mother of the girl whose body Alita is now using. And they have been instructed by Nova, the Big Bad, to kill Alita.
If all this sounds too complicated, it is. While most movies of his ilk are poor details and just stick to playing hits, Alita is flat with intrigue and plot. The problem is, it doesn't really go anywhere. The action-packed, eye-catching set of pieces is incredibly fun (thank you by Rodriguez and producer James Cameron for that), but they are a bridge to nowhere. Alita becomes painfully obvious in the third act, is a whole movie with exhibition.
When trilogies are scheduled to be trilogies from the beginning, this is acceptable. People who leave the theater know that there will be more to come back to in the next movie. Even something like a Marvel franchise film can be forgiven for having a slightly open conclusion because everyone is aware that the answers will be given at last. With Alita, there is no guarantee of a successor. In fact, Cameron has said he is cautious about planning one before this movie has proven. It is a good idea, but it would be more credible if it did not come from someone whose films forgot to include the last game of forestry. And really, Cameron knows how to do this: Avatar ended up with a bang and still left the audience who wanted more.
Of course, Cameron and Rodriguez have a plan for what would happen in a sequel ̵
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