'Alita: Battle Angel' Early Buzz: People Love Robert Rodriguez's Weird-Looking Sci-Fi Epic

This just in: Alita: Battle Angel is actually...good? That's what early reactions are saying, at least. The trailers for the James Cameron-produced, Robert Rodriguez-directed sci-fi epic have looked a bit...awkward. But the film recently screened for a handful of people, and the reaction is overwhelmingly positive, with some calling the movie "mind-blowing" and a "sci-fi genre landmark." See the Alita: Battle Angel early buzz below.

I'll be honest: based on the trailers, I think Alita: Battle Angel looks...bad. You should never judge a book by its cover, and you should never judge a film by its trailer. But the footage I've seen so far has looked goofy, and the special-effects – particularly those used to create Alita herself – have left a lot to be desired. But I'd love to be proven wrong, and discover Alita is actually good. And that might just happen, if these early Alita reactions are to be believed. The movie has had its release date changed several times so that Rodriguez and Cameron could get their cutting-edge special effects just right, and it looks like all those delays have paid off.

The theme of these reactions all seems to be the same: the special effects are great! The 3D is great! And that's fine, I suppose – but what about story? What about character? Is there more to this movie than great visuals? Paul Shirley, editor-in-chief of JoBlo, goes into a bit more depth:

That sounds very promising! It's worth noting that it's still a little early – the movie isn't out for another month. And when more and more people see it, the buzz might start to trend downward in a negative direction. But if the positive buzz holds fast, we might have ourselves a new epic sci-fi film to get excited over this year.

Alita: Battle Angel, starring Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley and Keean Johnson opens in theaters February 14, 2019.

Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido, a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic. When Alita awakens, she has no memory of who she is, nor does she have any recognition of the world she finds herself in. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious past.