If you took one look at the first teaser some months ago for Alita: Battle Angel and were unnerved to your very core by the title character’s unnatural appearance, then don’t worry: The full trailer for the film will certainly put you at ease. Sure, her eyes look like a manga character crawled off the page and straight into the Uncanny Valley, and sure, the film will probably give a whole new generation of children unshakable nightmares from which they might never recover, but at least the movie is directed by Robert Rodriguez, right? Remember Spy Kids?
Alita is actually Rodriguez’ first film since 2014’s poorly received Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, a sequel that came much too late to capitalize on any good will left for the original comic book adaptation. Here, he’s adapting another comic, this time Yukito Kishiro’s manga Battle Angel Alita, which imagines a distant cyberpunk future where the balance of power is controlled by sophisticated combat cyborgs. Alita seems to be one of those cyborgs with a classic (some would say “cliche”) case of amnesia, and powers that far exceed even the other killer robots that surround her. She’s played by Rosa Salazar (whose normal face is not nightmarish), accompanied by Christoph Waltz as the sort of goodhearted scientist you always find in both this sort of story or Mega Man game.
The action of the trailer, at least, looks serviceable, although it’s very hard to focus on anything other than Alita’s freakin’ face, for obvious reasons. Still, she kicks plenty of ass throughout, although one has to wonder if the waxy unreality of CGI will distract from the visceral effect of the violence. Alita also cries a few times in the trailer—something she’s quite good at, given that OH MY GOD HER EYES LOOK AT THEM.
Ahem. Have we mentioned those eyes? We have? Okay.
Check out the Alita: Battle Angel trailer below. The film is currently scheduled for release on Dec. 21, 2018.