Alita: Battle Angel ★★★

Alita glistens and glides like live action anime cyberpunk trash that knows exactly what it is and has fun while it can within a truncated and way too slipshod narrative. Honestly I could’ve basked in all the insane roboflourishes for at least another hour. More time to world build and show all the rushed exposition that feels like cybermodded ciphers rattling off condensed magna Cliff Notes, please! 

I’m not sure why The Battle Angel flips butt kicking motivations so often or who the Big Bad is exactly or why most flesh and blood characters do anything. But RobRod actually assembles coherent and giddy action sequences when he checks his macho impulses and stops pasting together greenscreen in his garage or whatever. Who knew? And James Cameron backseat pilots this material like one of those grinning sunglasses TechNoir tough guys downloaded from one of his own pictures.

Like Alita, herself this movie plays like an unlikely, unsure, but strangely winning combo of fun pluck slathered over a cool and sleek endoskeleton. If you ever wanted a mega budget blockbuster with the kick and grime and sinister cheek and nonsense plotting of bottom shelf video store ‘90s “Japanimation,” pop your eyeballs for Alita!

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