Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (2005)
Man, I nearly shit my pants when I first saw this movie. You know, in a good way.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children picks up in the rebuilt city of Midgar two years after Sephiroth was taken out and Meteor was destroyed by Lifestream. Things are good for our hero, Cloud, and all his old fighting buddies, but then this disease called Geostigma starts infecting people left and right, and to make matters worse, this trio of emo kids in leather spandex show up and, like total idiots, try to revive Sephiroth so that he can start up a whole new reign of terror that really wasn’t good for anyone the first time around. Naturally, Cloud and his enormous sword step in to take care of business, and it is awesome.
If you didn’t understand anything I just wrote, then you sure as hell won’t understand anything that’s going on in this movie. That’s probably because you haven’t played the greatest video game ever made, Final Fantasy VII, and this movie was pretty much made just for the die-hard fans like myself. Not gonna hold it against you, it’s a generational thing.
See, Advent Children is a continuation of the aforementioned video game that takes roughly 30 hours to get through. So chances are that if you haven’t played Final Fantasy VII, don’t like animated movies, and cringe at the thought of being forced to sit through an animated movie based on a video game, this is not your kind of movie. But for the rest of you out there, read on. Read on, my fellow nerds.
Looking at this from a film critic’s perspective, this definitely doesn’t deserve an 8; probably more like a 7, maybe even a 6. The reason being that the story here really doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. There’s not much going on with the characters if you don’t already know what their stories are, and the only way to know their stories is have spent an unhealthy amount of time sitting in front of your PlayStation, taking bothersome bathroom/food/sunlight breaks every six hours or so while learning all their ins and outs. I’ve seen this movie maybe two or three times and I have had very little luck in wrapping my head around the plot, especially in figuring out what the hell Geostigma is, nor does this movie make things any easier for people going into it cold. I dare someone to explain to me what Geostigma is; I double dare you.
Then again, looking at this from a video game junkie’s perspective, this movie made me giddier than a 10-year-old girl at Miley Cyrus concert.
First of all, the CG animation is absolutely gorgeous and deserves to garner some serious praise even if everything else seems like a garbled mess. Secondly, the action scenes are completely insane as it takes everything that was awesome about the video game and cranks the dial up to “FUCKING NUTS!” Lastly, it’s just awesome to see all my favorite characters from the game again just doing what they do best – defying the laws of gravity and fighting with enormous swords/enormous shurikens/prosthetic machine guns/motorcycles, etc.
Sure, the story sucks, and that is a bummer considering the game’s story is so damn great, but what a freakin’ ride all the same. I still vividly remember the first time I saw this, and holy hell was that a sweet moment in my life.
But like I said, this movie is really hard to praise or criticize if you’ve never played the game because you really will have no idea what is going on the entire time you’re watching it. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is strictly a movie for the fans, and while it’s not the yet-to-be-made video game remake/sequel that every fan has been bitching and moaning about for the past ten years to no avail, that doesn’t take away from this being a totally wild experience.
My suggestion: go play Final Fantasy VII. It really is the best game ever made and if you’ve already played it, you’ve probably already seen this movie anyway.