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Review: Don't get lost in the eyes in 'Alita: Battle Angel'

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Alita: Battle Angel

If you can get past the anime eyes, this movie will surprise you with its CGI effects and characters.

“Alita: Battle Angel” is based on the Japanese manga “Gunnm” centered on a girl cyborg found in the scrap yard that falls from the last floating city after a war referred to as the “Fall.”

Dr. Dyson Ido (Christopher Waltz), a doctor who specialises in repairing cyborgs, finds and fixes up Alita (Rosa Salazar). When Alita wakes up she has no memory of how she ended up in the scrapyard or anything else related to her past life. Dr. Ido gives her the name Alita and begins to take care of her as she starts to adjust to her life.

The movie follows her as she starts to discover herself and what she is, all while she tackles typical teenage problems including her first love and a group of cyborg bounty hunters.

The biggest apprehension people have about the movie is Alita’s alien-like eyes that look almost disturbing in the trailers that came out before the film’s release. The eyes appear to be a nod to the manga origins of the movie and, while jarring at first, slowly become less noticeable as the plot starts to thicken.

Other than the eyes, Alita’s CGI body is spectacularly animated, as are the rest of the cyborgs. Grewishka (Jackie Earle Haley), a hulking cyborg sent to kill Alita, moves like a robot of his size and build would, which adds to the effect of intimidation and believability though the metal muscles are not real.

As for the plotline, there are certain cliches the movie lets itself fall into from the bad boy meeting a girl to change his ways to the dead daughter trope.

Even so, the movie used them sparingly and focused more on the development of the more important plots, like Alita discovering bit of her past and the budding romance between her and Hugo (Keean Johnson).

Like many book-to-movie adaptations, "Alita: Battle Angel" struggled with juggling several subplots along with the overarching plot of the story, which is a difficult thing to accomplish in a two-hour movie format.

Although the beginning of the flim did a fantastic job of world-building and introducing characters, as thecredits started to get closer and closer, the subplots were rushed, and audiences were not given the ending they were expecting. The ending might have hinted at a sequel, for Alita had not solved the bigger problem discovered later in the movie, but it still felt as if it ended too soon.

With all that said, the movie still has a charm to its characters. Alita, though she is a cyborg, is the most humanlike character in the film with flaws the movie doesn’t try to hide. The characters do help with the time-constrained plot and give the audience someone to relate to and root for.

"Alita: Battle Angel" is a movie with endearing and realistic characters, but it suffers from a plot line better suited for a Netflix series.