The Independent claimed the only people who enjoy Alita: Battle Angel are internet trolls. That’s absolute nonsense. This is the real reason why fans love the movie to death.
Critics hate Alita: Battle Angel with a burning passion, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the film, but rather political activism. The Independent wrote an article pretty much calling the entire Alita fan-base alt-right trolls; which is basically another way of calling someone a Nazi today. But why?
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It released around the same time Captain Marvel did and the majority of movie goers preferred Alita: Battle Angel over the Marvel epic. But for some reason the press thought that their opinions were the end-all, say-all, and they just couldn’t understand why so many people loved Alita: Battle Angel. So, to them, the only possible answer was “must be trolls”. The Independent article also claims that Alita fans are not really fans of the movie, but instead anti-feminist, anti-Captain Marvel fans.
This is all such silly nonsense. Alita: Battle Angel is a great movie. There is a lot to love about the movie, and there are plenty of things that ultimately just make it a much better film than Captain Marvel.
So, why do fans love Alita: Battle Angel? Here are five things that I absolutely loved about the movie.
Alita: Battle Angel was respectful of source material
Alita is one of the most beloved Manga comic book series of all time and had a well established fandom way before the movie came out. So, making a western live-action adaptation of the series was extremely challenging. Most movies that have had a western live-action remake have not been well received, but director, James Cameron, wanted to make the greatest adaptation possible for one of the series biggest fans; his very own daughter.
Even the creator, Yukito Kishiro, was very impressed by the movie. “For the old fans who’ve been following the franchise and the IP [intellectual property] for a very long time, I think I can safely say that this movie really carries the core and the essence of what was in the original works,” he told CBR.com. “I think there’s a lot of reason to be excited and to stay tuned for what comes next.”
We are faced with politics almost every minute of our waking lives. No matter what your political beliefs are, it is nice to have 90 minutes or more where you can escape to another world and not have to think about today’s social, economic, or political issues. And, for the most part, that’s what movies allow us to do. But this is becoming increasingly rare in today’s world. Most film creators use the opportunity to inject their political ideologies into their films for some odd reason and, no matter which side of the fence you are on, it is becoming tedious.
Alita: Battle Angel is completely apolitical. It is set in a steam-punkish dystopian future world, and the people of that world have their own problems to deal with. The film makers did a great job avoiding all the biggest political talking points, and that is why this movie has one of the biggest followings today. When you inject your politics into a movie, you are going to divide your audience. But here, people from both sides of that big nasty political wall can enjoy this movie without feeling like they are being lectured. It’s great!
Alita is bad-ass. There are some of the most epic action scenes in this movie. Let’s just take one for example; the Motorball game! The Motorball scene is like Ready Player One‘s car racing scene, but just a hell of a lot more brutal and – uhhh – on roller-blades! It is a beautiful combination of high-speed chase action, martial arts and dare I say ballet?
The movie is absolutely gorgeous to boot, so these epic scenes and sounds absolutely blow your mind in 4K.
It’s character driven
Alita: Battle Angel is full of interesting characters all trying their best to make their lives on that dark dystopian wasteland worthwhile. Even the hardbodies (full cyborg) seem like unique people who are all trying to overcome their own inner turmoils. Like the cowboy guy at Bar New Kansas with that little dog, and even the big bad-ass bounty hunter with the pretty face. You’ll hate him… until the end.
Then, of course, there is Alita. The movie itself is more about discovering your own inner strength and doing the right thing instead of just giving some random girl powers, a cape, and making her fight the bad guys. Alita’s strength and courage doesn’t come from some magical super powers. Nor does it come from her super advanced technology. It comes from her own heart and mind.
The biggest reason that people love the movie is because they love the character. James Cameron did an amazing job bringing this character to life and making us care about her. Unlike Captain Marvel, despite being a hero Alita is very vulnerable. Vulnerable to be hurt by the people she trusts, vulnerable to love, vulnerable to loss… and extremely vulnerable to chocolate! And every ounce of vulnerability is perfectly animated in her facial expressions and eyes.
This is all summed up in one moment of the film, that also appears in the trailer, when Alita asks Hugo, “does it bother you that I’m not completely human,” and he replies…
It’s true. And she is definitely more human than Captain Marvel. Alita embraces what it is to be human, and that is empathy and love. She is not afraid to trust and love unconditionally and is willing to, and literally, give her heart to another. In the end all she wanted was companionship, that is what made her life worthwhile — and that is something I think every human desires the most.
In the end, Alita is not the body she was given. She is not the skill set she acquired. Nor are those the things that make her a hero. Alita’s body had been replaced and built from the ground up multiple times, and what truly makes her a hero is that in spite of all the traumatic experiences she suffered through, she still has the ability to love and feel empathy.
Why do fans love Alita: Battle Angel? For these very reasons. This is why the manga comic book series and the movies have such a large and dedicated fan-base. And this is why I am a fan.