Past Entertainment Articles.
Article for the week of 11/26/05
Really Pathetic Movie Review
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Forget the obvious attempt by SquareEnix to milk one of their greatest
hits of all time for more money, and that cynical thought that says Final
Fantasy VII was a movie, except you had to press the circle button every
once in a while, and read about the actual movie here instead.
Advent Children takes place two years after the ending of the game, and
Cloud still hasn't come to terms with his problems. To make matters worse,
a new disease called the “geostigma”, or “starscar-syndrome”, has started
plaguing various people of the planet, mostly small children, as an after
effect of the events that nearly destroyed the world.
Advent Children starts almost as bleak as the game once did, but here
the fans will be acquainted with everything, and know what brought about
what, while the newcomers might find things very hard to keep up with.
Advent Children is a movie almost exclusively for the fans, although there
is a quick summary of past events at the beginning, as told by Marlene.
This is more to bring us back to a world we adore, rather than introduce
anyone new, however. And what a world it is! The incredible design is
very much intact, but now it is enhanced by graphics so amazing you sometimes
think you're looking at a live-action movie instead of an animated one.
Everything is superbly designed, from the smallest gun to the motorcycles,
and all have a sense of sleek futurism mixed with that hint of magic that
lets us know this is Final Fantasy at its best. As for the characters,
the old ones have gotten a new highly fashionable wardrobe, compliments
of Tetsuya Nomura (who also directed), and the new ones, while not as
cool as the good ol' gang, are quite alright. Yes, the androgynous bad
guy Kadaj doesn't bother me. He doesn't have as much class as Sephiroth,
but he does feel like a very distinctive character.
The overall designing of the characters has also received a new look,
one that works quite well, being more human and less anime-style, while
the environments are much as we're used to them just more detailed and
more alive, and if possible even more beautiful.
For those worried the fight scenes will be an endless amount of simple
attacks and cool magic and summons.. I hate to disappoint. The fights
decide to pretty much ignore Newton's laws, and instead become acrobatic
wonders of amazing feats, with a sense of style and flair that will be
hard to match. Wire-fu, eat your heart out, you just got owned.
Add to this that the fights (there are quite a few of them) are accompanied
by Nobuo Uematsu's amazing music, some new, some old, and some a mix of
the two, and you already have one heck of a movie.
Of course, Nobuo Uematsu isn't the only beloved thing to return in this
movie. Almost all the memorable characters make an appearance, the exception
being Mog, who seems to have gone off somewhere. Cait Sith hangs out with
Nanaki instead, while Vincent stays as mysterious as he always was, and
just as cool. The problem is Barret doesn't seem to curse as much, Rude
and Reno are turned even more into the comic relief, and almost manage
to lose all their cool on the way. Reno still has style, though!
But the greatness of Final Fantasy VII wasn't just its amazing environments,
cool fights and fantastic music. It was the way it could grab a hold of
your heart better than any movie, and have you connect with the characters
on a personal level. Advent Children doesn't manage this quite as well,
probably because now Cloud isn't you, he's merely a highly interesting
character, but the longer the movie goes, the more I'm reminded just why
I thought Final Fantasy VII was the best experience ever. And it's impossible
to expect a movie to be as great as a role-playing game with over 50 hours
of playing time. But the great parts are still there, you're still moved
by Cloud's fight against both his own guilt and his arch-enemies. If you
liked the game, then you should see the movie. If you managed to beat
Emerald and Ruby Weapon, then why haven't you seen it yet!? And if you
just enjoy escaping from the dull reality and see some amazing fights
and a compelling story about people you find yourself caring about.. Welcome
to the fold.