This juggernaut-sized sci-fi movie mechanically rehashes a huge collection of genre clichés while bashing its way through an onslaught of visual effects, bad dialogue, and dull, lifeless characters. Co-written by James Cameron and directed by Robert Rodriguez, Alita: Battle Angel feels lost in a bubble; it's clueless about the real world, about real emotions, or about any other, grindingly similar movies that have come out in the real world (Elysium, Ghost in the Shell, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Ready Player One, Mortal Engines, etc.). It's less like the characters are making decisions than they're being pushed through an automatic computer program. The movie has state-of-the-art visual effects, but they aren't enough to rescue Alita from seeming like a visual effect, rather than a character, all the way through.
The other characters aren't human enough themselves to reflect her supposed humanity. Perhaps worse, she's sexualized in an unsettling way, a little like the famous Maria robot in Fritz Lang's Metropolis, but creepier. Overall, Alita: Battle Angel seems to have practically nothing to say. Not even the post-apocalyptic setting appears to be warning humanity about anything in particular. Rodriguez' direction is competent, of course, and the action scenes are well-executed (except for one too many scenes of actors running through crowds and shoving extras aside), but the project isn't really much more than an empty, noisy, soulless, vaguely unpleasant special effects extravaganza.