I hope there's a sequel. While some films can stand alone, Robert Rodriguez's Alita: Battle Angel deserves a follow-up. Although certain elements strike one as a tease, including the sporadic yet well handled action sequences, the main storyline proves noteworthy.
Alita (voice and motion capture work by Rosa Salazar) emerges from the scrap heap. She's rebuilt by Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) and her reflexes in difficult situations hold the clue to her prior identity. While piecing together memory fragments, she discovers a higher purpose: the city in the skies known as Zalem.
Without divulging too much information, Alita: Battle Angel inspires us to look closer. Evidently, producer James Cameron played a crucial part in developing the narrative. He co-wrote the screenplay with Rodriguez and Laeta Kalogridis. Adding to which, the set-pieces convey the studied gaze of a master storyteller. Thus, the instinct to proceed at light speed was countered by the precise slow motion ballet. Although visual effects prompt the main draw, there's good dialogue reminiscent of Ghost in the Shell as well as Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
Of special note, Salazar projects humanity into many digital expressions. Whether she smiles or grimaces, the photo realistic results make a blockbuster such as Alex Proyas' I, Robot appear antiquated.
Finally, the supporting characters whether human or based on metallic souvenirs shelter startling characteristics. The main monster, Grewishka (voiced by Jackie Earle Haley) comes across as a bully whose heart echoes a frigid, merciless beat of steel. (Capsule review)
(Released by Twentieth Century Fox and rated "PG-13" by MPAA.)
For more information about Alita: Battle Angel, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.