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Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Review (DVD, UMD)

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating

By

Sephiroth from the CG film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Sephiroth from the CG film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

© Square Enix

The Bottom Line

Imagine you were given a golden egg, then you dropped it and drove over it with your car. Pick it up and that's Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. You take a near perfect videogame, some of the best CG animators on the planet, and then you let a first time director and a poor writer drive it into the ground. Well, at least it was cool seeing high rez CG versions of our favorite FFVII characters.
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Pros

  • Visually, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is stunning
  • All of the major FFVII characters are back
  • Fanboys will be pleased, regardless of quality

Cons

  • Think of everything you hate about anime, it's in FFVII: AC
  • Weak story, weak dialog, how can the FMV cut scenes in the games be so good, and this film so bad?
  • One videogame journalist (JANE!) actually fell asleep during it
  • Poor DVD extras

Description

  • Visuals: 5 Is makes your heart sing with delight to see Cloud wave his sword around on a motorcycle
  • Music: 3.5 I am a huge fan Uematsu's music, but this time it was just too sappy and melodramatic
  • Story: 1.5 Ugh and yawn. Sure there are dramatic elements, but they have no context to support them
  • Acting: 2.0 The voice acting works, but it's nowhere near the quality one would expect
  • Special Effects: 3 There's a little too much dist and fog. Oddly enough there's no blood to be seen
  • Special Features: 2.5 Almost as dull as the film, I will probably never watch the second disc again
  • Rated PG-13 Honestly, some of the action is intense, but it's pretty mild overall for a PG-13 film

Guide Review - Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Review (DVD, UMD)

Biases up front. I like anime. Heck, I love it. I've been a gamer and a fanboy my whole life. I've lived in Japan and have boxes of otaku goodness that my wife is begging me to throw out. Yet even I didn't like Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, and when it comes to Japanese film, I'm pretty forgiving.

Did FFVII look good? Yes. Everyone looked stunning, and the action sequences moved very well. The loving attention to Cloud and his crew are what save the film from being a 2 star picture. The art director clearly knows his FFVII, and while there are many new elements, they all feel right at home in the FFVII universe.

It isn't that I mind surreal, existential, or postmodern film, which is a problem some people have with Japanese cinema and anime. It was just dull. There was a lot of moping about, something about saving children and dull enemies that magically, without much reason, morph into Sepiroth. The writer had elements he wanted to work in, redemption, forgiveness, hope, but his iconic approach lacked any sort of context. It was as storytelling had been replaced by iconography. Luckily for Square-Enix FFVII has some strong icons for fans to latch on to.

Am I happy they made it? Of course I am. I love FFVII as much as the next guy. Really, a shallow story with some decent fighting would have been fine by me. Instead we are treated the the most boring Final Fantasy story yet. So rent it for the eye candy and nostalgia, as that's all that's there.

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