If the eyes are the windows of the soul, the cyborg heroine's couple of Alita: Battle Angel are a set of double doors wide open, as limpid and blooming as a painting by Keane. Alita (Rosa Salazar) enters the film at the top of a pile of junk outside the city of Iron City, where the main focus of human life remaining on Earth in the middle of the year 26th century. Or rather, his head, accompanied by a metal spine remains hanging below. The cybernetic surgeon in the shop, Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz), discovers Alita's central nervous system and reconstructs it from neck to foot. The film, directed by Robert Rodriguez and co-written by James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis, works in the opposite direction. the intestines – or is it the fork – up to the heart, but sometimes only up to the brain.
Although it is in the year 2563, the driving force behind Alita is nostalgia. It is at the forefront of technology, with huge computer-generated landscapes and immersive 3D, but all of these effects are at the service of a story that seems to have been written in the 1980s. (It's actually based on a series of mangas by Yukito Kishiro, published during the next decade.) His vision of the future, a planet ravaged by a conflict with the United Republics of Mars (URM), feels both dystopian and charming naive. (On the one hand, it seems quite optimistic to predict that humans will even be alive on Earth in 500 years.) The Iron City residents have fun watching the bike, which is basically a Max MaxVersion of the roller derby, and one of his main opponents, Grewishka (Jackie Early Haley), looks like a professional wrestler head at the top of the chassis of RobocopLike an ED-209 tank. Its racial and gender politics also seems to be becoming obsolete two or three decades ago: when Alita exchanges her first robotic body, originally built for Dyson's dead daughter, against a more combat-capable body, she wins also the curves of a manikin, as if she had a figure to knock out were a strategic advantage in combat.
Alita wakes up without a memory of her past. So it's up to Dyson and Hugo (Keean Johnson), a street kid as drab as his biceps are bulging, to show him the ropes. In a world where human-robot mergers are common, anyone can be removed and sold for their parts, both mechanical and organic. There is a quasi-military peacekeeping force that is mostly loyal to Zalem, the last of what was once a vast network of flying cities, whose remains were found in the rubbish dump, but peace is mainly maintained by warrior-hunters, who hunt fugitives – or at least their identifiable parts – for rewards in money There is a law and an order, but their overlap is more a coincidence than the goal. Vector (Mahershala Ali), who runs the biker games and a black market company underneath, is currently at the helm of Dyson's ex-wife, Dyson's ex-wife, Chiren (Jennifer Connelly), who is also a brilliant surgeon. Oh, and sometimes Vector is possessed by the spirit, or something, of Nova, Zalem's largely invisible ruler, who can seemingly sink into the consciousness of anyone on Earth if he feels like it. .
Rodriguez is a cool cynic, but Alita, like Cameron, has a heart of corn.
It's a lot of plot for a film, and there are still huge questions to ask: we learn almost nothing about the URM, if not its name and the fact that it has access to state-of-the-art technology that has been forgotten for hundreds of years since the war. between Earth and Mars. We never reach Zalem, only see a brief overview of Nova and leave the film on what constitutes a configuration for a sequel whose prospects are anything but certain. The original Kishiro manga is composed of nine volumes. Alita Inspired by the first four, compressing nearly 1,000 pages in a surprisingly slim story that barely exceeds two hours. (Is it a compliment to say that it looks more like three?) But the plot is not what attracts you. Part of it is Salazar's performance and motion capture work that maps his expressions onto a figure whose humanity is the goal of the story. But it is especially the thrill of the hunt, the meeting of generous visions, often sentimental, of Cameron with the feeling of Rodriguez for the trashy genre.
The influence of the former seems predominant here. Rodriguez is a cool cynic, but Alita, like Cameron, has a heart of corn. Although it's not as dazzling as AvatarDue to the bucolic environment, Iron City's grungy textures look so real that you can feel the rust flake, which reminds you that little Avatar used 3D technology as well as Cameron, and no one did it better. There are naïve moments that make you laugh with a mixture of disbelief and joy, like when Jeff Fahey introduces himself as a redneck bounty hunter who keeps a pack of cybernetic dogs on hand. It's awkward and limited, sometimes inexcusable, but it's also glorious. If to learn that Alita turns out to be the master of a forgotten fighting technique called Panzer Kunst you roll your eyes, you would be better with a film more concerned to be superficially connected. But if it makes you think of a smile, you could kiss her with open arms and eyes as big as Alita's.