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Old 2 Weeks Ago (11:11 PM).
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Firebolt Firebolt is offline
 
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SPOILER WARNING! I'm going to be talking about the movie and how it gave me depression is one of the best cinematic experiences I've had the pleasure of encountering in a long time (barring Infinity War, of course), and sharing that without spoiling the movie would be too difficult for me to bother.

Before I start, I want to share a little story. I went to bed last night and had a crazy dream (which inspired me to make this thread in the first place). I dreamt that I was in the future!...in 2019, not the 26th century unfortunately. Anyway, I had just got my hands on the newly released Cyberpunk 2077 game, and when I loaded it up on my PC, I had found out that it was set in the same universe as Alita: Battle Angel (despite the difference in damn centuries; never said it was a realistic dream). I was ecstatic! I was never big on future dystopias with cyborgs and stuff, but wow was I absolutely pumped for this game! And then I woke up.

You know that horrible sinking feeling when you wake up from a perfect dream and realise it's not real? After fighting the temptation to cry and sobering up, I started to delve deeper into why I felt this way. My classes didn't start until the afternoon today, so I had plenty of time to wallow in my thoughts. That's when it hit me; my dream was exciting and disappointing because I was emotionally invested in... This is going to get confusing quickly, so I'll use 'Battle Angel' when talking about the movie and 'Alita' for the titular character. I was emotionally invested in Battle Angel.

Say whatever you want about the eyes, the story (which I’m sure was only the way it was to set the franchise up for a sequel), the villain, whatever, but Alita's character arc and how it interacts with other characters was some of the best I've ever seen. That first scene where she tastes an orange and bonds with Dr. Ido tugged my heart strings in ways I didn't know they could bend. I must credit Rosa Salazar on how she effortlessly switched her character back and forth between an innocent girl trying to find her place in the world to a deadly martial artist with fists of steel. She felt like a real character that experienced real human struggles despite of her plot armour. Now when I say 'plot armour', I mean it in a way whereas you're watching Battle Angel, you just kinda know that she's never going to lose a fight because of the way the plot works. That can usually be a bad thing, but the way Robert Rodriguez and all related behind-the-scenes people used this 'invincibility' to contrast with how emotionally fragile she actually is is just so beautiful.

MAJOR SUPER SPOILERS AHEAD! I'm giving you a second warning just in case you clicked the link out of curiosity, but if you have any interest in watching the movie, I'd strongly suggest you leave now while you can.

For example, there's a short arc she goes through in the movie where her rebellious teenage antics kick in. She registers as a Hunter Warrior, and in a wave of naivety and self-assertive thinking, she drags her boyfriend-to-be, Hugo, into a bounty hunter pub and tries to recruit the regulars to join her to destroy Doggo Killer (seriously, how psyducked up was that scene...). However, even in a place full of experienced bounty hunters, she never shows any sign of fear even when indirectly threatened. We know that she's strong, she knows that she's stronger. This causes her to make a new enemy for herself, Bad Goatee Man (I can't remember his name, but he had the most punch-able face ever).

At the time, there's no repercussions for that specific action, as Bad Goatee Man would flee and swear he'll get his revenge another day. What she failed to notice in her arrogance is that her Hugo did not possess anywhere near the same combat prowess that she had, and if he was ever to run into Bad Goatee Man while she wasn't around- Oh yeah, that's how he died. Up until his first 'death', she never once considered how her actions could affect the people around her. If she hadn't stirred up all that trouble and did what she did to Bad Goatee Man that night, Hugo's death in its entirety could've been prevented (for the foreseeable future). He would've never been attacked by Bad Goatee Man and framed for murder, therefore never lost his rational reasoning and finally never tried to climb to Zalem and die...again. Heck, if she didn't register as a Hunter Warrior in the first place (which she did at the time only out of spite), she might've been able to save Hugo('s body) anyway as she wouldn't have needed to follow some rules that she clearly didn't read. At least she got a cool blade out of the whole ordeal though!

But seriously, that young love between Alita and Hugo was just so perfectly written. This kinda plays into how convincing Alita as an actual human really is, but their love arc also gave Hugo some of the best characterisation I've seen this decade. I'll be honest with you, I did not know whose side Hugo was on for the majority of the movie. He was revealed to scrap cyborgs for parts pretty early in the movie, and I felt like he could've easily pulled off a Hans (Frozen) just before the end there. He starts off as a typical bright-eyed young man; he dreams of travelling to Zalem, and no depressing underworld was ever going to kill that optimism of his. Then he meets Alita, and as he gets to know her, he realises that she was very human (or in his words, "the most human person I have ever met"), very much like Hugo and his friends. It was around this point that he gets a revelation; while the parts he was scrapping were from cyborgs, they had every right to their body just as much as Hugo as to his. As important as his dream was to him, even when he was being offered Alita's heart, a heart that she told him could be replaced by any scrap generator once it buys them into Zalem, he couldn't stand the idea of taking away something that was a part of her, and even chided her trusting nature in the hopes that she won't ever make the offer to someone a lot less compassionate (part of her emotional frailty that I mentioned before).

I think I have gotten my general thoughts about the lovebirds across by now, so I'll just finish up with the last few scenes we see of Hugo. After he was stabbed by Bad Goatee Man and was dying in her arms, the raw emotion he showed as he cried just symbolises how much Hugo had been changed, for the better, by Alita. She was the first real positive influence on him, and despite being not physically 'human', he loved her more than he could love even his dream. After he gets patched up and put in a cyborg body, he tries to climb to Zalem out of sadness; sadness born from not being safe anymore in Iron City, and most importantly, sadness from knowing that Vector had no intention of sending him up to Zalem in the first place. When Alita pleads for him to come back down, he rebukes her by saying "I'll always be a refuge down there". She shakes her head, tears in her eyes, "It doesn't matter. As long as we're together." Seriously, even my eyes were a little wet here... The air-conditioning was too cold in the cinemas, and it hurt my eyes real bad. I especially did not feel the seeds of my PTSD being planted when he said to her "Thank you for saving me" just before he fell to his death, because he knew that a short life lived with love was better than a long one chasing a meaningless dream.

... So, um, how did you enjoy the movie? Looking forward to the sequel?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago (5:33 AM).
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Venia Silente Venia Silente is offline
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I was told both that the movie was bad and that it was good. I had very little previous experience with the franchise and I did recall that the Ghost in the Shell LA movie, while not bad, was muddled by a number of controversies and had a very unsatisfying ending due to trying to cram too many references to difference parts of the franchise together.

On my own end and watching the movie with some friends though, I found the movie satisfying, even more if you get already the idea that it's going to get a sequel (or at least that's how it's narratively built from minute 30 onward). As with any of these movies -The Last Airbender, GitS, Godzilla '98- you have to watch them under the understanding that they are Hollywood productions with a large degree of Americanization, not a fidelity-waving adaption of the original, and under that perspective the movie delivers quite well, in particular when it comes to portraying the combat style and the moral decadence in the lower part of the city.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago (4:24 AM).
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Firebolt Firebolt is offline
 
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From what you've said, I'd like to extend on it by stating that the movie is actually very accurate to the manga; as I was reading a summary of the manga, I actually had to double check I wasn't just merely reading the movie summary itself.

I understand that a lot of people feel that the story of Battle Angel was lacklustre (Who's the woman who trained Alita? Why was there a battle between Earth and Mars? Why must Nova be stopped? How did Alita end up in the scrapyard? etc. etc.), but you really have to trust that the director had a sequel planned right from the beginning. Heck, he even brought on Jai Courtney to do like a ten second cameo of Jashugan (the Motorball champion we see right as Hugo tells Alita about Vector; he has a much more important role later on), and didn't even have an actor to play Nova until the end of production (as he wanted someone who could play the role properly in the sequel(s?)). The manga has a lot of content, and to squeeze it into one movie would leave no one satisfied. It's like The Philosopher's Stone to the planned...uh...any one of the Harry Potter sequels I guess.

Honestly really looking forward to seeing the future of this franchise. Hopefully the next movie doesn't take like 15 years to be realised.
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