Manga to live-action American productions have notoriously not been good. Yet the Robert Rodriguez directed and co-written and co-produced by James Cameron movie Alita: Battle Angel, based off of the 1990 cyberpunk manga series created by Yukito Kishiro, seems to be the first real exception to the rule.
Battle Angel Alita, also known as Gunnm in Japan, is set in a futuristic dystopia in which Alita, a cyborg who has lost all memories, is found in a garbage heap by a cybernetics doctor named Daisuke Ido who rebuilds and takes care of her. She slowly remembers some part of herself, most importantly that she used to be a badass.
Cameron has said that this movie is more based on “the spine story” of Yukito Kishiro’s original manga and that there is a focus on the first four books and the fictional sport “Motorball” from the third and fourth volumes. Regardless, it is fair to say that many audiences will not be familiar with the source material and will mostly be seeing Alita for the first time through this movie. So far reviews in are uneven, with many positive and some … very much less so. While I will be seeing the movie later in the week, I think that if Alita does well it does change the economic landscape of whether manga/anime can be successfully adapted into a mainstream blockbuster film.
The reviews, while not all glowing, to indicate that Cameron/Rodriguez have at least made a fun and beautiful film.
So I just got back from #AlitaBattleAngel and the curse is broken! Someone in Hollywood actually made a great film based on a Manga/Anime IP! I’m shocked and surprised! 8/ 10. pic.twitter.com/tRxo0WCa8V
— Genshifox (@JonthanFox) February 1, 2019
ALITA: Liked it enough to want to have liked it more. Soars when asked to *tell story,* stumbles when asked to *communicate plot,* at it’s absolute best when speaking directly via the melodramatic id of it’s Very Extra teen-girl protagonist
So, y’know – Anime. #AlitaBattleAngel
— Bob Chipman #RehireJamesGunn (@the_moviebob) February 1, 2019
#AlitaBattleAngel is much better than I anticipated. James Cameron’s fingerprints are all over it, from the fantastic world building to the on-the-nose dialogue/symbolism. Rodriguez brings some bad ass looking action. Worth seeing in 3D. It doesn’t all work, but it’s fun.
— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) January 31, 2019
Alita: Battle Angel…
James Cameron, you did it. You crazy son of a bitch, you did it.
— Kaylyn Saucedo – (@MarzGurl) February 1, 2019
Alita: Battle Angel ★★★★ – the first must-see @IMAX movie of the year & a stunning visual adventure. CGI & Mo-Cap is out of this world! Kudos to @Rodriguez @JimCameron #RosaSalazar #ChristophWaltz – @AlitaMovie is game-changing cinema https://t.co/v5tGCHwCNj #AlitaBattleAngel pic.twitter.com/KFUGAWGUnI
— JASON PALMER (@Jason_EntFocus) January 31, 2019
Okay, I have a specific gripe with #AlitaBattleAngel, and it has to do with world-building. Buckle up, folks, we’re going spelunking. 1/?
— Beth the Elder One (@BethElderkin) January 31, 2019
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 1, 2019
— IndieWire (@IndieWire) January 31, 2019
Will you be checking out Alita: Battle Angel?
(via, image: 20th Century Fox)
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