Much like a futuristic Pinocchio or Young Frankenstein, the CGI world of Alita: Battle Angel, a film adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s popular manga series Gunnm, is one uninterrupted stream of cyberpunk dream creation. And while much of the technology in Alita is futuristic, it’s deliberately tethered to today’s science, as was producer James Cameron’s vision for the film.

Alita: Battle Angel happens roughly 600 years in the future, where our heroin inhabits the cyberpunk dog-eat-dog world of Iron City here the citizens preciously recycle everything and especially technology from the Scrapyard, this is the location where refuse piles up from the giant floating city of Zalem, where the “elites” reside. There’s a series of tubes where unique products are sent from the Iron City to Zalem (in exchange for the latter’s refuse), but otherwise the two worlds never really connect. The Scrapyard is where a thoughtful doctor finds cyborg Alita’s head, containing her carefully preserved human brain. He realizes straight away he’s discovered a highly advanced technology from three centuries earlier, lost in time, and attaches said head to a body. The plot follows her journey from amnesiac ingénue to fierce girl warrior.

With Alita making her way around in her adopted land and unpredictable streets, Ido tries to shield her from her secret history while street-smart guy pal Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has elite fight skills that those in power will try everything to stop her. If she can keep the baddies at bay, she could be the one save her friends, her family and the new world in which she inhabits.

Alita: Battle Angel stars Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Skrein and Mahershala Ali.  Released February 14, 2019 by 20th Century FOX and rated PG-13 (for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language) and is currently in theaters.

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