Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron sign a real science fiction film, exciting and generous, which contrasts with current blockbusters.
This Sunday, TF1 will broadcast unencrypted for the first time Alita: Battle Angel, a blockbuster that First advise you. Here is our review, initially published when it was released in February 2019, along with anecdotes about its long manufacture.
In a landfill from the future, a nearly destroyed cyborg is resuscitated by a surgeon. Amnesiac, she will go in search of her memories … Might as well put things straight away: Alita, embodied in a performance captured by Rosa salazar, is one of the most beautiful cinema creations of the year, alive, moving and incredible. James cameron, which matures the adaptation of the manga Gunnm for twenty years, can be proud of its production Alita: Battle Angel and it would probably be too easy to attribute all of the film’s success to the director of Terminator. He obviously imposed his technical and narrative requirements on the film (Robert rodriguez himself admits it in the last issue of Première: “Without exaggerating, my job was to make a Cameron-style film”) : if the performance capture Alita is absolutely stunning, there is also a mastery of the typically Cameroonian writing.
Robert Rodriguez: “For Alita: Battle Angel, I had to get used to the dimensions a la James Cameron”
The film starts off very slowly, and prefers to build its story patiently, flaunting its breathtaking action scenes throughout the film (following the construction of the “triple climax”, which Cameron uses in Aliens, the two Terminator or True Lies), rather than throwing everything at the beginning and the end. The delirious battles of motorball – the roller skating racing of the future – have an intensity that we had not seen on the big screen, since the magnificent Speed racer of the Wachowski. Alita thus manages to remain perfectly exciting and interesting from A to Z, building piece by piece, emotion by emotion, her main character.
It’s as if the mentor-Cameron had been able to channel Rodriguez’s often muddled energy. What brings the two men together is the same attraction for maverick projects. To go against certain patterns and certain expectations. Even if it is a project to more than one hundred million dollars headed by the author of Titanic and Avatar, Alita is indeed a unique work, not a mass-produced object. Just like her heroine, with her face and her heart of absolute weapon grafted onto the porcelain body of a dead little girl, Alita is unique. By being the opposite of all recent blockbusters, both in terms of the big show and the scenario (bye bye the routine pattern of the “hero’s journey”), Alita: Battle Angel fine them easily. Alita’s big eyes are open and focused on the future.
20 years ago, Guillermo del Toro introduced Gunnm / Alita: Battle Angel to James Cameron