Battle Angel Alita: The Trailer vs. The Anime

Battle Angel Alita: The Trailer vs. The Anime
Source: 2018 Battle Angel Alita poster / 1993 Battle Angel Alita poster

Late last month, a new trailer dropped for James Cameron’s live-action adaptation of Battle Angel Alita. Then I watched the anime…

Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything.

The Trailer

I should admit, I’ll see this movie regardless of how its trailer looks. I’m down to watch any Hollywood anime adaptation. I guess it’s a plus that this looks f*cking awesome. And when I watched it… Goosebumps. Pure goosebumps from 1:30 onwards.

Not only is this visually stunning, but the cast is brilliant. Mahershala Ali! Christoph Waltz! Michelle Rodriguez, Jennifer Connelly, and Jackie Earle Haley!

And no, I don’t think anyone is going to get used to Alita’s anime eyes.

Even after watching both trailers ad nauseam, my eyes refuse to peel off hers whenever they’re on screen. It’ll be a barrier for sure, but this trailer gives me immense hope this can succeed.

Then I watched the OVAs.

Battle Angel Alita: The Trailer vs. The Anime
Source: Battle Angel Alita trailer

I see what Cameron saw in this property. Despite its initial break-neck pace, Alita is one hell of an OVA—this could easily be a Hollywood movie. If they just flesh out the beginning, they wouldn’t have to change much, if anything at all. It’s a phenomenal story containing bounty hunting, brain-eating cyborgs, and even love.

It is brutal and beautiful. But the live-action trailer doesn’t seem to be following this path.

The anime is set in a dystopian future centered around characters aspiring to ascend from their squalor and reach a life of luxury in Zalem, a city in the clouds. However, the evil isn’t above them, but residing amongst them in their broken city, taking advantage of people’s dreams.

My Final Verdict?

What gives me hope for this adaptation is the tandem of James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez (hang with me). Cameron and his graphics team are undoubtedly equipped to make this a CG marvel. The action scenes are fluid and inarguably well animated. Also, don’t forget Cameron once made The Terminator, Aliens, and The Abyss. Then there’s Robert Rodriguez. He’s made From Dusk ‘Til Dawn, El Mariachi, and Sin City. He’s got the dark thing down. If he isn’t encumbered by a PG-13 rating and he gets to go into R-Rated territory, we’ve got a movie.

Battle Angel Alita hits theaters December 21, 2018.

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