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Alita: Battle Angel

Director:  Robert Rodriguez
Year Released:  2019
Rating:  3.0

Dr. Ito (Christoph Waltz), who specializes in robot repairs (and has a secret night gig as a bounty hunter), rescues horribly dismembered Alita (Rosa Salazar) from a scrap heap and rebuilds her - like a typical teen, she falls in love with a bad boy named Hugo (Keean Johnson), gets involved with the local sport of "Motorball" and gains the attention of Vector (Mahershala Ali), who knows how powerful she is (and wants her dead). I remember renting the dubbed (boo!) VHS copy of 1993's Battle Angel Alita from Blockbuster way back in the day and was unnerved by the amount of carnage going on in that version (based on the manga by Yukito Kishiro) and the underrated Rodriguez, working off a script by none other than James Cameron (and Laeta Kalogridis), does the original justice: the CGI is sharp, Alita and Ito are noble leads and the action sequences are superbly done - my enjoyment of this probably stems from my early (and still technically ongoing) interest in anime, but I still think it does cyberpunk (mostly) quite all right. It could have probably used a little trimming, but the real mysteries are: (a.) how the violence and organ removal earned 'just' a PG-13 rating and (b.) why this many Academy Award winners chose to take part in it.

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