RT Podcast

"Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong" About... Alita: Battle Angel

With an army of fans singing its praises, we're asking if the barely Fresh cyborg flick is a better model than critics gave it credit for.

by | February 25, 2021 | Comments

Alita Battle Angel

(Photo by TM & Copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved / courtesy Everett Collection)

The long-in-production sci-fi epic Alita: Battle Angel was something of a box office fizzer when it opened on Valentine’s Day, 2019. But since its muted theatrical run, the Robert Rodriguez film – based on a popular early-’90s manga and produced by James Cameron, who was originally set to direct – has gotten a lot of love from fans.

Those rabid fans have not been afraid to slap us at Rotten Tomatoes around over the last two years, letting us know we definitely got the movie’s score – 61% on the Tomatometer – wrong. (The Audience Score, by contrast, sits at 92%.) While critics almost universally praised the movie’s groundbreaking special effects and the lead performance of Rosa Salazar as the warrior kinda-android, they were less enamored with the story and script. Fans, on the other hand, point to the world-building, killer action sequences, and a surprising amount of heart to suggest this cyberpunk action fantasy has been sorely underrated.

And yes, they’re demanding a sequel.

Who got Alita: Battle Agent right: The lukewarm critics or the red-hot fans? That’s what we’re asking in the latest episode of our podcast, Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong. Joining hosts Mark Ellis and Jacqueline Coley to break down everything from the incredible action sequences and divisive script to the years of production hell that preceded its release and the James Cameron of it all, is John Rocha, creator and host of The Outlaw Nation, and Schmoedown legend. Will Alita win over his cold cyborg heart? Tune in to find out.

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Check in every Thursday for a new episode of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast From Rotten Tomatoes). Each week, hosts Jacqueline and Mark and guests go deep and settle the score on some of the most beloved – and despised – movies and TV shows ever made, directly taking on the statement we hear from so many fans: “Rotten Tomatoes is wrong.”

If you have a suggestion for a movie or show you think we should do an episode on, let us know in the comments, or email us at rtiswrong@rottentomatoes.com.

Meet the hosts

Jacqueline Coley is an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, with a focus on awards and indie coverage but with a passion for everything, from the MCU to musicals and period pieces. Coley is a regular moderator at conventions and other events, can be seen on Access Hollywood and other shows, and will not stand Constantine slander of any kind. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter: @THATjacqueline.

Mark Ellis is a comedian and contributing editor for Rotten Tomatoes. He currently hosts the Rotten Tomatoes series Versus, among others, and can be seen co-hosting the sports entertainment phenomenon Movie Trivia Schmoedown. His favorite Star Wars movie is Jedi (guess which one!), his favorite person is actually a dog (his beloved stepdaughter Mollie), and – thanks to this podcast – he’s about to watch Burlesque for the first time in his life. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markellislive.

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