Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
Film and Plot Synopsis
In Alita: Battle Angel, it’s 2563; three hundred years after the war called The Fall. The mysterious scientist, Dr. Dyson Ido, finds part of a female cyborg in a junkyard and brings her to his laboratory. He finds that her human brain is amnestic but intact, and then gives her the name of his deceased daughter, Alita.
Alita soon meets Dr. Ido’s ex-wife, Chiren, who’s also a scientist developing cyborg warriors for Motorball. Additionally, she befriends a local scrap collector named Hugo. He teaches Alita how to play Motorball, and she learns that the champion of the Motorball Tournament can live in the floating city of Zalem. Soon Alita discovers that Dr. Ido is a Hunter-Warrior, a type of bounty hunter the Factory employs. In time Alita decides to become a hunter-warrior too.
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‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Movie Summary
Alita wakes the next day in her new body with no memory of her past. She meets Dr. Ido and his assistant, Nurse Gerhad (Idara Victor), who introduce her to her new world. Alita begins exploring Iron City. Alita meets Dyson’s ex-wife, Dr. Chiren (Jennifer Connelly). Dr. Chiren develops cyborg warriors for Motorball, a sport that repulses Dyson.
She also meets Hugo (Keean Johnson), a local scrap collector who dreams of getting out of Iron City to the floating city of Zalem. Zalem is a wealthy city that hovers over Iron City which no one has ever been to. Hugo secretly robs cyborgs of their parts and sells them to Vector (Mahershala Ali), the owner of the Motorball tournament and the de facto ruler of the Factory, Iron City’s governing authority.
One night, Alita follows Dyson as he sneaks out of their apartment. Dyson is attacked by a gang of cyborg serial killers led by Grewishka (Jackie Earle Haley), a giant human cyborg. During the ambush, Dyson is injured, and Alita instinctively jumps into the fight and uses “Panzer Kunst”, a lost combat art for machine bodies. She kills two of the cyborgs and severely damages Grewishka, who retreats back underground. Dyson reveals that he is a Hunter-Warrior, a type of bounty hunter hired by the Factory. Alita believes that fighting will help her rediscover her past. However, Dyson discourages her from becoming a Hunter-Warrior.
Meanwhile, Grewishka goes to Dr. Chiren to help repair the damage to his cyborg body. Dr. Chiren is also working for Vector, and both of them are working for the mysterious Nova, the man who runs Zalem.
The next day, Alita and Hugo leave the city and explore the area surrounding the city. Alita finds an alien ship, and after exploring it, she discovers a highly advanced cyborg body. She takes it back to Dyson and asks him to connect it to her. Dyson recognizes it as a Berserker, a deadly shock trooper of the enemy nation United Republics of Mars (URM) from the Great War. Dyson tells Alita that she was a member of URM, and refuses to install Alita in it.
With Dyson unwilling to help her, Alita registers herself as a Hunter-Warrior and goes to the Kansas Bar, where all the other Hunter-Warriors hang out. She tries to recruit other Hunter-Warriors to help her take down Grewishka. Zapan (Ed Skrein), one of the elite Hunter-Warriors chastises and provokes Alita, who summarily beats him in a fight, which starts a bar brawl. Dyson shows up and breaks up the fight. Shortly afterwards, a significantly upgraded Grewishka appears and tells everyone that he is there for Alita.
He challenges her to a fight, and during the fight he reveals that he too is also working for Nova and has been sent to destroy her. Despite her abilities, Alita’s body is severely damaged by Grewishka’s chain-bladed fingers. However, Dyson and another Hunter-Warrior McTeague (Jeff Fahey) arrive and force the giant cyborg killer to retreat. Dyson takes Alita’s broken body back to his shop and attaches her to the Berserker body.
With her new body, Alita is more dangerous than ever. Alita enters a Motorball tryout race for prize money to send Hugo to Zalem. Alita has fallen in love with Hugo and will do anything to help him. Unbeknownst to Alita, Vector has bought off the other Motorball players and attempts to have her killed. Meanwhile, Hugo has decided to quit his scavenging ways, and tries to stop his former partner, Tanji (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) from working for Vector any longer. Zapan shows up, kills Tanji, and frames Hugo for the murder of another cyborg. Zapan has been sent by Vector to kill Hugo.
Hugo is injured, but manages to escapes. Zapan pursues him across Iron City. Hugo is able to contact Alita, who is battling the other Motorball players. She tells him to go to where they first went together and then abandons the race. Once she gets to the rendezvous point, Zapan reveals to Alita that Hugo has been working for Vector and proceeds to stab Hugo in chest. Alita drags Hugo’s body into the abandon church where Dr. Chiren, who no longer wishes to work for Vector, offers to save Hugo by attaching his severed head to Alita’s life support system. Zapan sees through the ruse and attempts to stop Alita from leaving, but she grabs his prized Damascus blade and slices most of his cyborg face off.
Alita takes Hugo’s head back to Dyson, and he transplants it onto a cyborg body. Dyson tells Alita that Vector’s offer to help Hugo reach Zalem was a lie. Dyson reveals that he is an exiled citizen of Zalem and is certain that citizens of Iron City cannot enter Zalem without becoming a Motorball champion. Alita heads to the Factory and confronts Vector, who reveals that Dr. Chiren has been harvested for her organs for her betrayal. Vector summons Grewishka to defend him, but Alita, with her new nanotech body, easily defeats him. Nova takes over Vector’s body and threatens to harm her and her friends, so Alita fatally stabs Vector in the chest.
Dyson tells Alita that Hugo has left his shop and is trying to climb the carbo tube towards Zalem. Alita catches up to him and begs him to return with her to Iron City. He eventually agrees, but a serrated defense ring dropped down by Nova shreds his new cyborg body and throws him off the tube. Alita catches him but cannot pull him to safety. Hugo thanks Alita for saving him right before his shredded arm pulls apart and he falls to his death.
Several months later, Alita is the rising star of the Motorball tournament. She is cheered on by the crowd who have adopted her as their own. She raises the plasma-charged Damascus blade towards Zalem, where Nova (Edward Norton) watches her from above.
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Additional Film Information
- Alita: Battle Angel official website
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Twentieth Century Fox released Alita: Battle Angel on February 14, 2019. Robert Rodriguez directed the film starring Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, and Jennifer Connelly.