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Alita: Battle Angel  (DVD)


Stars: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley, Keean Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, Rick Yune, Casper Van Dien

Director: Robert Rodriguez

The plentiful, mostly mindless action that stuffs this blatantly expensive, logic-starved science fiction cyberpunk action extravaganza takes place some 300 years in the future in Iron City, a run-down, grimy post-war metropolis overshadowed by the flying city of Zalem, where Waltz's compassionate cyber-physician discovers the battered mess of metal and plastic that is the eponymous Alita, restoring her to become a top-of-the-line cyborg gladiator, who soon finds fame starring in the Iron City's popular no-holds-barred rollerblading-style game Motorball, while proving that she possesses human instincts by embarking on a romance with street-smart teenage human Johnson.

Sensibly - since while the narrative becomes increasingly complex it also succeeds in becoming less convincing with every scene - Rodriquez drives the show fast and furiously with emphasis on eye-catching special effects and lashings of loud and lurid action rather than credibility, creating a cyber heroine who should appeal to effects-and-action-driven teenagers seeking spectacle rather than believable or logical storytelling.

Alan Frank

Canada/Argentina/USA 2019. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour.
116 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 02 Aug 2019