A friend let me borrow a subtitled Japanese DVD of this movie, with a simple recommendation: "You'll love it." And he was right.
To be honest, I haven't played a Final Fantasy game since the original one for the NES, which means that I missed out on "Final Fantasy VII," the game this movie is essentially a sequel to.
That said, I was nevertheless enthralled by "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children." I could tell, as the story played out, that there were things I was missing out on. Characters were introduced that I wasn't familiar with but were obviously important somehow, and plot points, while summarized enough so that I could understand them, would clearly have been more meaningful if I was familiar with the story of the game. This should have meant that I couldn't get into the film -- but I did anyway.
I think it was the animation that captivated me at first; it is beautiful throughout. The film is entirely computer-animated, with a strong leaning toward attention to detail and realism in appearance. While the textures don't quite meet up to the high standard set in "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within," they don't have to. The animation for "Advent Children" is stylized to just the right degree, with lots of detail, and a sense of motion that most CGI films just can't capture. It's here, in the quick movements of characters and how they interact with scenery, where the animation actually exceeds that of "Spirits Within," as that film didn't capture motion quite as effectively. Most noticable in the battle sequences (and there are a LOT of those), character movements are quick, natural, and always make sense in the surroundings.
The story, like all "Final Fantasy" stories, is epic and world-spanning, but manages to get across a great deal of emotional depth as well. That's where I really got swept up, after I got used to the animation -- the feeling that is put into the people in this story shows how much they meant to the makers of the film, and to those who love the characters so much. By the end of it, I found myself feeling the same way, even though I only understood a fraction of what had come before. If I had been so quickly swept up in it, what kind of effect would it have on those who knew the whole story?
From what I gathered, "Advent Children" takes place about two years after the conclusion of the events in the game, with the world mostly in ruins and a sort of plague sweeping across it. Starting with Cloud Strife and Tifa Lockhart, characters from the game are quickly re-introduced and the story takes over. Filled with lots of action and heartfelt emotion, it's the kind of tale that defines epic storytelling on a truly grand scale, from indivudual relationships to an evil that could threaten the world, and an incredible conclusion that is both visually stunning and emotionally satisfying.
"Advent Children" begins with a sort of dedication, white text against a black screen: "To all those who once loved this world, and who spent hours with their friends therein, it's time for a reunion." That seems to be the overall theme expressed in the film, on of reunion. These characters are old friends who have drifted apart, reuniting once more to unite in a powerful battle. Seeing them work together is awe-inspiring, and their sense of camaraderie is infectious.
For fans of the series, as much as for the characters themselves, I can already see that "Advent Children" is a chance to re-unite with these characters you loved, one more time. For people who don't know the series or the characters as well, this is a perfect introduction to why they are so well-loved by so many.
This is a great great great movie. It is for fans of Final Fantasy 7 (FF7). Yes, you should have played it, or seen someone play it before watching this or it won't make sense. This movie provides a resolution to the story that started in FF7. The animation is spectacular, it has fight scenes similar to the fighting scheme in the game, which I think is the best part, and the characters remain true to the game. The only problem with this movie was the story, it was somewhat confusing and a little … more
Ah, "Final Fantasy". How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. FF1... FF2... FF3... FF4... FF5... FF6... FF7... FF9... FF10... FF12... (FF8... not so much. FF11... never played) For gamers like me, RPG freaks born in the 1970's, the "Final Fantasy" series of games is, in many ways, the pinacle of what video game RPGs should be. Epic, beautiful, clever, touching, etc. The previous CGI FF film, Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within (Special Edition), did … more
The question facing any viewer of the Japanese CG featureFinal Fantasy VII: Advent Childrenis: do you have to know the games on which it’s based in order to understand the film? And the answer is: it certainly helps. But even complete novices (i.e., most parents) in theFinal Fantasyworld will find some entertainment in its wealth of fantasy-based action, and the animation never fails to astonish. Picking up two years after an epic battle between the forces of good (represented by brooding soldier Cloud) and evil (Cloud’s former general, Sephiroth),FFVIIopens in the devastated city of Midgard, whose youthful occupants suffer from a ghastly disease known as Geostigma. A trio of brothers arrives with what appears to be a cure for the plague, but their gesture conceals a more sinister purpose: to revive Sephiroth and bring about the end of the world. Cloud and his companions must once again rise to the occasion to stop the siblings and the revived Sephiroth from unleashing total destruction. Complex and self-referential to the point of occasional incomprehension,Final Fantasy VIIwill definitely be most appreciated by fans of the game series, but if others can look past the numbing dialogue and frenetic action (which is a bit too intense for very young children), the film offers a carefree and action-packed viewing experience. The two-disc set contains the original Japanese language version of the film as well as an English-dubbed edition (Rachel Leigh Cook and Christy...