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SYFY WIRE Robert Rodriguez

Alita faces shattered past in Alita: Battle Angel ‘Mirror Punch’ preview

By Benjamin Bullard
Alita Battle Angel via official website 2019

With the Valentine’s Day release of Alita: Battle Angel fast approaching, the movie is beginning to wrap some context around all of the fast-twitch action we’ve seen in its previous lineup of densely packed trailers.

A new, more contemplative preview clip has just emerged, focusing this time out on tracking the disembodied warrior’s first moments of recognition that there may be far more to her identity — and her past — than she remembers. It’s a slower take that lingers over a brief moment glimpsed in the movie’s third preview trailer last November, and it finds Alita (Rosa Salazar) coming face to face in the mirror with her powers — and with flashes from her past.

As the clip suggests, Alita’s full awakening on the inside may be tied closely to how fully she explores her powers on the outside. With guidance from Dr. Dyson Ido (Cristoph Waltz), Alita’s new cybernetic body may just hold the key to unlocking hidden memories from her remarkable personal story.

Incidentally, the “mirror punch” scene also shows up in the music video for Dua Lipa’s “Swan Song” from the movie’s official soundtrack, where it helps serve up a shadow-boxing climax.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez and produced by James Cameron, the long-gestating cyberpunk fantasy is on track for a wide-eyed adaptation from Yukito Kishiro’s original Battle Angel Alita manga, which garnered a devoted cult following during its early-1990s run. We’re only a couple of weeks away from diving into the deep end of one of this year’s most visually distinctive CGI worlds: Alita: Battle Angel grapples its way into theaters starting Feb. 14.