Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Alita Battle Angel [2019]

Alita: Battle Angel rules.

It’s a great movie! The story is ridiculously silly and moves along at an exhausting pace as it attempts to cram twelve TV episodes’ worth of content into two hours. The world is gorgeous and textured, while the action sequences are top-notch. And Alita herself is one of my favorite action movie protagonists in a long time! It may be hard to keep up with sometimes, but Alita is absolutely worth your time.

The movie ended up losing money at the box office, but it performed at a best-case scenario for a February release for a non-franchise film. $400 million worldwide isn’t good enough for a film that cost $175 million to produce, but it’s a success story nonetheless.

The movie is re-releasing in U.S. theaters very soon, on October 30th, and I really hope you’ll go watch or rewatch it. It’s a great film for the big screen and every extra ticket sold will help its legacy.

However…

The internet doesn’t let us have nice things anymore. We can’t just have a good movie that tries its best and gets remembered fondly.

Alita: Battle Angel and Politics

It just HAD to become part of our constant, head-throbbingly annoying Internet Culture War. Rabid, politically charged fandomry stepped in, and now it’s impossible to talk about this movie online without certain people making it all about their politics.

First off, Woke Hot Take People said that Alita was objectified with the male gaze, which is blatantly untrue and not even worth discussing. None of this was ever meant as legitimate criticism; it was just some quick controversy stewing for clicks. (I actually had some links to share, but I decided I’m not going to promote idiocy or clickbait.)

This, of course, sent the right-wing anti-feminist circles into a fury, because if the Woke People dislike something, that means they’ve got to run around in circles talking about how good it actually is. (Again, not sharing links.)

That started the big social media culture war as always happens in this life of ours. Because anime fans are predominantly male and increasingly right-wing, they began to tout Alita as the ultimate anti-SJW movie ever. Or something like that. thus the #AlitaArmy was born.

Then it all descended even further when the NEXT origin story about a female superhero whose memories are wiped thanks to a male villain came out—Disney’s Captain Marvel. That movie became an instant $1 billion smash, as Marvel movies often are, but it was also touted as an extremely feminist movie. It even came out on International Women’s Day!

Disney tried REALLY HARD to make Captain Marvel feel like a once-in-a-generation event, just like Black Panther a year earlier. But that status got dented by the fact that Alita: Battle Angel (their own film) came out just a few weeks earlier and had some of the exact same themes.

So… the war truly began.

Alita: Battle Angel‘s Stupid Dumb Culture War

Captain Marvel became Enemy Number One to the Internet Culture Warriors. It defeated Alita at the box office, and it was a worse movie, and it was being unfairly propped up by the media. Honestly, I disliked Captain Marvel a lot so I get the sentiment. But the culture war ended up turning these two movies into a big fat stupid culture war.

If you liked Alita, you were an incel alt-right geek.

If you liked Carol Danvers, you were a liberal elite SJW cuck.

There was no way to like, or dislike, either of these movies without accidentally endorsing a political movement, apparently.

Like so many other popular works of late (e.g. Steven Universe, Undertale, The Last Jedi), it’s best not to even discuss this story online. The internet is ready and willing to turn every single thing into a political rallying cry. All fandoms are toxic and all discourse is worthless.

I love Alita: Battle Angel and I would kill for a sequel (or even a theme park ride, hint hint Disney), but I’m not going to openly talk about it that much because if I do, people are going to think I’m a Sargon of Akkad fan or something. And that sucks!

Still, I hope you go see the movie when it re-releases in theaters on October 30th.

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