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2-disc dvd

Director: Tetsuya Nomura; Release Date: February 13, 2007

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Brilliant Looking Movie, But Not Much Else

  • Aug 26, 2009
  • by
I remember playing Final Fantasy VII when it first came out in 1997. I was eleven years old. The game was one of the greatest I ever played. I am now twenty two  going on twenty three and I still play through it constantly. The storyline was divine (albeit, didn't completely come together in the end), the characters memorable, and it still has one of the most memorable video game moments in history. When one of your main characters is killed off permanently with no way to revive said character. Final Fantasy VII set the bar.

Years later, a sequel is announced and now we have Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. A movie which was countlessly downloaded on file sharing services such as bit torrent before actually being released in the US. Many fans saw the movie long before it came out in the US. I was one of those who decided to wait, as Final Fantasy VII was a game that could easily have a unsatisfactory sequel. After watching the movie, I'm glad I did.

Final Fantasy VII Advent Children has a good "cool" factor going for it. It looks really beautiful. Almost lifelike in it's graphical capacity. As far as CGI animated films go, this is the best looking ever released. The characters hair moves in the wind in separate lines, even. Even the little things get some good detail. So if you're looking for a movie that really looks good, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children delivers.

The fight scenes aren't so bad, but they're not great either. The camera pans around and shifts too much. The fight scenes also look cool. They look startling unrealistic, even for Final Fantasy. Characters flying around and doing things they otherwise couldn't do in the game. A lot of it pans out in either bullet time slow motion like the Matrix, or really fast as if you've pressed fast-forward on a VCR. Sometimes it gets annoying, but often this really doesn't. However, it doesn't separate from the fact that there's really no depth to the fight scenes. They seem to be there to further enhance the eye candy of the movie. The good news, however, is that it manages to give the viewer the feel of a video game.

The storyline is what really hurts Advent Children, however. There's a virus going around called Geostigma. The movie makes you think that this is a horrible virus that's a huge threat. We never see just how this virus is a threat, however. No one actually succumbs to Geostigma, and the origin of Geostigma gets very little, if any, attention at all. It just sort of popped up out of nowhere. Along those lines, three new villians are looking for "mother" who happens to be Jenova. The storyline could've really molded into something special. I was hoping the movie would follow the formula of the game. Take a very basic thing, and turn it into something complex, original, and inspiring. Advent Children doesn't do that. The story also ends with a Deus Ex Machina.

Along those lines, the characters receive little, if any, development at all. The only character who seems to get any is Cloud Strife. When all the other major characters from Final Fantasy VII show up, they have maybe one or two lines and then they're tossed aside like yesterday's newspaper. It feels like these characters were just thrown in there to fulfill fanboy and fangirl fantasies. There's little emotion from these characters as well. None of them express any worry or hope for Cloud when he goes into the final battle.

Some characters have also come back and are a little different than what they were in the game. The humor of this movie mostly comes from the Turks. In the game they were not really the ones who provided humor. In fact, in the game they were rather suave and cool. They don't take that cool and suave attitude into the movie, though. But it did provide the movie with some much needed humor.

A lot of the movie feels rather emotionless. The poor dialogue mixed with bad English voice overs doesn't help either (the most common line people bring up is Tifa's "Dilly dally shilly shally").

The music score redeems some of it. A lot of the tracks from the game have been remixed. While I like the more orchestrated versions of them, the rock music theme for these tracks isn't bad. No where near as good as the orchestrated masterpiece of the game, but good nonetheless.

I suppose if I were a few years younger I'd have been taken in by the sheer cool factor of this movie and the simple fact that it has the name Final Fantasy on it. When I viewed this movie, though, it seemed to have forgotten what Final Fantasy is. Final Fantasy always put an emphasis on storyline, this movie does not. The games look beautiful but they at least maintain their story and character development while they're at it. Advent Children seems to toss its characters and storyline aside.

In the end it depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for a lot of action, beautiful cinematics and don't give a rip about story, characters or plot development, then Final Fantasy VII Advent Children is for you. If, however, you're looking for a well written script, story and plot development, as well as character development, Advent Children isn't for you.

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August 27, 2009
Still a well-written review even though I disagree with your rating. I can see your points about the script and admittedly they are valid ones. The film should've downplayed the "Cloud" guilty angle a lot and developed some parts of the story better. However, Japanese films have a habit of carrying themes of love, redemption and existentialism. The action scenes are nicely done for me, since these type of action choreography has revolutionized Japanese cinema and inspired movies like the "Matrix". You're a great writer, Sean. Great structured approach. Keep up the great work! One concern of mine: I hope you watched it with the English subtitles with the original Japanese language. The English dub had a very messy translation.

However, I am almost ready to review the "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete"--its original uncut Japanese version that has 30 minutes of added scenes. Let's hope it solves all the plot's weaknesses.

catch you later, bud.
August 27, 2009
Now that's something I'd really like to see.  I guess my disappointment comes from the fact that it seemed like at some point the plot was tossed aside (I also kind of felt the movie was short).  On the other hand, I still loved the animation and the battle sequences.  I think it was just the story that I found a little mind boggling at times.  Just realized my rating shows +1... that wasn't right.  It should be ranked a little higher than that, because for what it does right, it does GREAT!
August 27, 2009
Yep, I can see that. It felt that it was more meant for fans and it forgot evrything else. oh, I hope you didn't watch it with the horrendous English dub...its translations were misleading.
August 27, 2009
Thanks for the reply, bud. Let's see what else you wrote for us...
August 27, 2009
Actually I watched it subbed and dubbed.  As usual, the Japanese voices are far better.  And then I watched it with English voices and subtitles... it's very misleading.  Some things were translated horribly.
More Final Fantasy VII: Advent Chil... reviews
review by . July 08, 2009
posted in ASIANatomy
limited edition
One of the most influential RPGs in recent memory is the Final Fantasy franchise that has spawned numerous installments that are highly popular in Asia, Europe and the U.S. While it isn’t exactly a necessity to have played the video game for one to fully appreciate the beauty of Tetsuya Nomura and Takeshi Nozue’s 2005 pure CGI-animated film “FINAL FANTASY VII: Advent Children”, it would definitely be an advantage since the film takes off 2 years after the game ends. For those …
review by . January 11, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Tifa looks hotter than Jessica Alba     Cons: HOW did the game's designers forget to write a story?     The Bottom Line: Stick to the game.     Ten years ago, Final Fantasy VII would have been released as a movie and its movie sequel, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children would have been the video game. It's a pretty unusual case: The video game should have been a movie and the movie should have been a video game. The thing that's really …
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this movie


This computer animated film picks up where the Playstation FINAL FANTASY VII video game left off. Cloud, the hero of the game, has retired into seclusion, but when a mysterious and lethal disease known as Geostigma begins to spread across the planet, and three powerful, villainous children appear, he reluctantly emerges to face the new and mysterious threats. Featuring some of the most spectacularly lavish computer graphics ever created, ADVENT CHILDREN continues the complex and compelling tradition that has made the Final Fantasy series one of the most popular games of all time.
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Release Date: 2005
MPAA Rating: PG-13

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