Well, guess what? [Be warned: spoilers ahead!]
I found it to be really rather good, but there’s only one word for this:
No, seriously that’s my biggest takeaway. Trigger can do this. Or Production IG. Live-action can’t do this justice if you treat it as live-action.
Even with the gorgeous effects the same woes of live-action choreography still rear its ugly head. To be fair, it’s a well-shot film overall, and the fight scenes look finely-wrought, definitely leagues beyond the OVA, and kinda wish this treatment spanned the rest of the film.
I did kinda find it boring at times because of the expository dialogue (a big knock against this movie), which is disappointing because I really would have loved it more if they told that stuff through the world itself.
Another bummer is Hugo, who is just too vanilla to be a character I could care about, which is a shame because he’s a good character in both the OVA and the manga. Really wish he was better.
That’s what I noticed too, watching the film. 80% of the movie is carried by 20% of the characters. We have Alita, pretty much the best character in the film, propelled by a great portrayal by Rosa Salazar, who carried this film on her Berserker chassis. If it ever becomes an anime, she has to do the English dub. Then it’s a downward curve of relevance from Ido, villains, Chiren, and Hugo.
As a whole, this movie suffers from the same problem Akira is afflicted:
Compression is the enemy. I adore the Alita manga immensely, and there are glimpses of goodness in the movie adaptation, but the same problems that hold Akira back—a truncation of the source material—is what shackles Alita, which is lethal if your movie isn’t as lovingly-made as that anime classic whose poster I just added up there. Both of these manga have got to be a full-season anime. It’s the only way these two can reach their potential and be well-loved not just by anime fans but by the wider genre fandom.
Overall: Alita exceeded my tempered expectations. It is better than the OVA by a mile, the lead is a darling, but is surrounded by a weak supporting cast; dialogue could use some work in the casual situations, needs more match-cuts... No way round it, Trigger has got to make the anime.
FINAL Rating: 7.8/10
Worth the money? Yes.