Sandy Kenyon reviews 'Alita: Battle Angel'

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A new movie with big special effects (and big eyes) hits theaters this weekend, and while the target audience is younger than me, I enjoyed "Alita: Battle Angel."

And maybe I'm getting cranky as I get older, but I get irritated by the quibbles of other critics who claim it's not worthy of the source material.

The new movie is inspired by a Japanese manga series and the story of the cyborg named Alita. It is so well known that some critics have complained "Alita: Battle Angel" just doesn't measure up. But I am going to assume you are like me -- not that familiar with the source material -- so we are free to enjoy the picture on its own merits.

Alita is a machine centuries old, found in a dump, rescued and mentored by a robot repairman played by Oscar winner Christoph Waltz.

She becomes a Hunter Warrior at the time of "The Fall," when the earth is in a very dark period and the principal amusement is a game called Motorball.

I love it when animation is used to make such action real, and adding to the success of the movie are the voices of Rosa Salazar as Alita and Jennifer Connelly and Mahershala Ali as the villains.

Ali's character says Alita is "threatening the natural order of things," but he has met his match.

"You have made the biggest mistake of your life, underestimating who I am," Alita tells him.
When it comes to this style of animation, I am no expert, but I know what I like -- and I like the thrust of "Alita: Battle Angel."

This is a long time passion project of "Titanic" director James Cameron, who produced the movie. It took him more than a dozen years to get the project to the big screen, and I say it was worth the effort even if other critics disagree.

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