Alita: Battle Angel ★★★½

Things I, personally, want from the next Alita movie: MORE sprawling, semi-incoherent lore! LESS rigidly by-the-book plot structure! MORE grappling with the implications of being a killing machine trying to become a human being! LESS embarrassingly bad dialogue! MORE joyfully, breathlessly flowing action scenes! LESS uninspired, underwritten love interests! MORE Rosa Salazar fighting back a grin even in the emotional scenes because it’s just so much fun! MORE, MORE, SO MUCH MORE Motorball, which plays with so much feverish energy and spirit that I can’t help but wonder if it was inspired by Speed Racer, or at the very least the pod race from The Phantom Menace! Honestly, if this movie was completely centered around increasingly elaborate games of Motorball á la Speed Racer than all my problems with it would quite frankly disintegrate into irrelevance. Great art can do that- become more than the sum of its parts- and Alita: Battle Angel sure as hell isnt great art, but it’s got the germ of something special.

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