For the first time in a long time, Hollywood is finally getting different types of heroes right. They are becoming more dynamic, relatable and real like the heroes that have dominated the discussion as of late. With “Alita: Battle Angel” hitting theaters, Hollywood, as formulaic as it is, has found the right one for female superheroes.
To understand the movie’s significance, we must dive into “Wonder Woman’s” success. “Wonder Woman” is the spark that has ignited this new flame and resurgence in the top of the line female superheroes that have become mainstream accessible.
At the core of Wonder Woman, and Alita to a degree is the Disney princess formula. Instead of discovering they are princesses, these female characters discover they are instead strong and sophisticated warriors.
In addition to seeing the Disney princess formula evolve in this film to mimic today’s society, gender roles are flipped. There is now an emergence of male love interests and sidekicks who in the past were female characters.
The theme in this movie is empowerment. Alita, the titular character of the film, found disembodied in a pile of scraps, is turned into a superwoman in her own right. As per the modified Disney princess formula, Alita begins the story unsure of herself and her capabilities.
She learns what it feels like to hurt and to love. There is a part in the movie where she turns to her love interest and asks shyly, “does it bother you that I’m not completely human?” To which the love interest replies, “you are the most human person I’ve ever met.” While this dialogue, as previously warned, is cheesy because Alita is far from the biological definition of what it means to be human, there is an undertone suggesting that love comes with acceptance.
It is this acceptance that gives Alita the motivation to keep fighting the good fight. The movie keeps suggesting that Alita is insignificant, but she is quick to prove them wrong and show them she is extraordinary.
For Alita, when it comes to recognition in the long term like her Wonder Woman companion, she is not helped by the fact that her movie, despite jaw-dropping action and shocking violence, is not “adult” enough.
While the film features extreme violence and very dark twists and turns, it still wants to be family friendly, so it pulls its punches both physically and emotionally. It is here that the dark ideas and twists are merely glossed over and robbed of their weight and potential. At the end of the day, the movie may not meet all quadrants that it has to in order to become the box office, the mainstream success that many are rooting for it to be.
In conclusion, “Alita: Battle Angel” is a great family film. This is most likely the target audience anyway. It is also an enticing genre film. There are some low points, but the graphics and visual effects are something special to behold that are certainly big screen worthy. However, if you decide to sit this one out, you will not be missing much.
Watch the trailer for “Alita: Battle Angel” below.