Did you know there is an Alita Army?
I watched Alita on Amazon a few weeks ago. It was all right. Nothing extraordinary. Logan’s Run meets Bourne Identity (a bit). CGI was very good, plot was ok, but the rest was paper thin. Nothing I would have spent money on to watch at the cinema. So imagine my surprise when I found a huge fan base for it on Twitter: The Alita Army!
Who Are They?
Well, that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? These people love Alita. It is their favourite film. To all the polls and questions about films they have only one answer: Alita.
Which is your favourite one-word film? Alita
Which is your favourite two-word film? Alita: Battleangel
Which is your favourite three-word film? Alita: Battle Angel
Which is your favourite four-word film? Alita: Bat tle Angel
The film is based on a manga by Yukito Kushiro which are actually not bad. But as is frequently been proven: not all adaptations work well. In an attempt to achieve a 12A rating some of the scenes have been turned almost comical and don’t have the impact they should have had. And I just couldn’t get used to the oversized, round eyes. However, Alita Army — active on Reddit, Facebook and Twitter — considers Rosa Salazar, who plays Alita, as their queen. They’re rooting for her to be nominated for an Oscar, which, I’m sure even they know, will never happen.
What Do They Want?
Apart from the impossible demand of Rosa Salazar winning an Oscar, what the Alita Army really want is a sequel. Now, the film grossed over $400 million, which doesn’t seem too bad until you find out that most of it was outside the US and not as much as the studios had hoped for. It’s domestic earning was only $86 million. Despite big names and Oscar winners like Mahershala Ali, Christoph Waltz and Jennifer Connelly, the film failed to attract viewers. This kind of performance wouldn’t really make Disney (who bought Fox) loosen its pockets for a sequel. However, this does not compute with Alita Army logic. Some of them have watched the film 26 times at the cinema! Just to keep it from being taken off. Others have bought many, many Blu-Rays. All in an effort to send a message to Disney that a sequel will be worth it. Who knows, Disney might listen!
Some people have questioned the authenticity of Alita fan accounts, calling them “stan” accounts. Now that was a new word for me. So, for all those people who are not in with these terms on Twitter, here is what a Stan account means:
Stalker + Fan = Stan
The fans vehemently deny being stans!
In all fairness, they are a really nice bunch of people. Even if you disagree with them and even if they take over all the “favourite movie” threads.
The best thing that’s come out of the Alita Army is the fan art! There is a whole catalogue of it: beautiful paintings with Alita redesigned, cartoons, fight scenes, figures. Here are some of their creations:
There is even a Funko POP doll available on Amazon.
The Dark Side
Like any other fan group, Alita Army seems to have among their membership few who are not always nice and are in danger of giving this, otherwise innocent, group a bad name. These members choose to ridicule and humiliate rather than accept that not everyone shares their passion for the film. They were critical of a Guardian review of the film, but more aggressively they forced a journalist to apologise for mocking the fan base. They are also behind a ridiculous comparison and battle with Captain Marvel, pitting Alita as a better, stronger, more feminist alternative to Carol Danvers.
But these are only a few bad apples who seem to be general haters rather than Alita lovers.
So, the conclusion I draw, regardless of the fact that I didn’t enjoy Alita half as much as the Alita Army, is that we need more armies like them and who knows we might get another season of OA and Daredevil or get Spider-Man back into the MCU.
UPDATE (03/10/19): Response from Dennis Won and StarOfElyon (Managers of @AlitaArmy Twitter account)
@dennis_won: The last paragraph is wrong. The Hashtag #AlitaArmy was knowingly misused by people [account names removed] to pit against Captain Marvel, we have spoken out strongly against it. And were insulted as trolls, gate-keepers and SJWs. We also try to promote the film positively with decency and respect towards other fandoms, we are a campaign pro-Alita not anti-CM. We respect them for they love something the same way, we do. We are activists who try to create unity for a common goal.
@StarOfElyon: Anyone can like or hate whatever movie they want but when using the #AlitaArmy hashtag what they do reflects on all of us, so if they must attack Captain Marvel, do it without the hashtag. Don’t drag this movement into it.