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Music: brilliant also. I was a bit nervous about it, since (from what I've seen) Nobuo isn't the best at writing music to go along with action (remember the Steal the Tiny Bronco sequence?), but it's brilliant and it fits perfectly. I'm glad I preordered the OST. They changed the lyrics to One Winged Angel though, so you won't be able to sing along if you know the Carmina Burana Lyrics.
Plot: the first half of the movie sets up things and introduces everyone in a fairly complex tapestry, but the second half is almost entirely fight sequences, once all the players are in place. I wouldn't call it a weak plot, but it's nowhere near as convoluted as the game's plot was. I think this is in an effort to avoid trying to overshadow the game, and I think that's a good thing...the movie is its own entity, and shouldn't try to top the original in terms of sheer plot.
I admit, I was kind of hoping that this movie would bring FF7 to a wider range of people, but this is NOT a mainstream movie. I was going to give it only nine stars, just because it doesn't even really try to explain anything to newcomers...Marlene (at least I think it was Marlene...sounded like her) gives a bit of background at the beginning, but it's more of a refresher than a crash course. But then I realized, for me this movie is a 10/10, so why should I take off points just because other people probably won't like it as well...if you've played the game, or are at least passingly familiar with it, you should see this movie. But you don't need me to tell you that. If you're not familiar with it, go out and buy it, sit there for twenty hours and beat it, and then see the movie...although even without any background, it's still stunningly beautiful. You just won't get any of the inside references...which make up 50% of the movie (that is, everything that ISN'T a fight sequence).
Graphics - 10/10, Absolutely amazing
Story 8.5/10 - don't think they could of expanded it that much more. And the stuff they could put in there was clever enough I thought.
Characters 9/10 - Well most of them have already been explained during the game but still could not fit it all into 90 mins.
Sound - 10/10, since i am a metal fan I loved the fight music.. and piano just reaches right in there..It is a great ST and I was not disappointed.
Tilt/Replay 10/10 - Enjoyable every time.
Overall- 9/10 (FF Fan View 10/10)
I personally think this is what was needed, a fight to end it all.. the plot was already in place. The action was necessary as much as people complained. I loved every second of this movie. It was a pleasure to visit the world of FFVII just one last time.
Just remember this.. most movies that have been made form a game have been directed by movie directors i think this is pretty great for a team of game directors.. Don't think I've seen a better game to movie..
Thankyou Square, I think you did it right!
Fanboys/girls will adore the film though no matter how good or bad everyone else thinks it is, so if you're a FFVII fanatic and you haven't already seen Advent Children you have nothing to lose by at least renting it.
Computer generated technology has developed in leaps and bounds in such a short period of time, and this cinematic creation highlights this achievement. While the characters and environment never look "real" it's hard to be unimpressed as the movements and textures with which it all has been painstakingly created prove to be incredibly beautiful. However this films problems lie not in how it looks but in how it feels, and style is never a substitute for substance.
The fact Advent Children is completely derived from its gaming counterpart proves to be the main attraction for those fans that pumped hours of their time into the playing into what could be described as one of 'the' greatest and most epic games in history. There was a disappointment that The Spirits Within proved to be not what was expected and that it had distanced itself from its source material. I suppose the entire point to this little analysis is that Advent Children proves ultimately to be for the fan of the game rather than for fan of film. The first five minutes is attributed to retelling the goings on in the game, but simply does not explain enough to even prove to be worthwhile. Phrases such as life stream, mimetic legacy and continual references to "mother" will be completely lost on the casual viewer, and ultimately will only serve as a means to remind the gamers of the emotional storyline they sifted through for hours upon hours.
Being source material, characters, like the film itself, only prove to be mere extensions of the game. The individuals within never get the chance to grow or express themselves to the audience as the only "development" that seems to take place is the entourage of the Final Fantasy staple encouraging the protagonist Cloud to return to his former self so that they may battle the evils which lie ahead. The dialogue with which they interact is purely based on either the aforementioned asset or the pseudo philosophy involving Jenova and the who's, wheres, hows and whys of Sephiroths return, and when there isn't a dialogue sequence there prove to be more battles than you can shake a stick at. The antagonists parade around in their leather clad latex like psychotic version of Julian Clary as these supped up special warriors beat up all view in their eternal struggle to find "mother". The fighting battle sequence with the (apologies for my lack of knowing the name) Bahamut proves to be as close as anything to the original game play and is actually severely cool as it captures the team ethic and combat system culminating in a rather satisfying pay off, however, one scene (although it does go on for about fifteen minutes) does not a movie make.
Final Fantasy Advent Children (or VII volume II, I suppose) is an entertaining enough venture into the construct to be enjoyable and will severely satisfy the mainstay, but the casual viewer will end up being confused and or lost and or simply not entertained enough throughout. As an extension of the franchise it's relatively successful but Advent Children all but proves you cannot a) constrict the entirety of something so vast into the constraints of a mere ninety minutes b) successfully transplant such material into a film, and that's what we should review this film on. Critics on IMDb should try and stave off personal bias and step back and be what they set out to be, critical. While entertaining for the few it may undeniably be, it cannot be classified a success as a film for neither the mainstream movie goers nor even, if they're honest, fans of films from the far East. However as a friend points out, "name me a better movie game to film adaptation" and I struggle to think of one on the spot. Although I'm struggling to figure out whether that is a positive or a negative.
As a showcase for the state of the art, and as a Final Fantasy ad, it does well; As a movie, it is poorly thought out. The dubbing wasn't very good, so perhaps I'd have liked it a bit more had I seen the subtitled version. I'll continue to say how I think this falls short as a movie, since thats how it bills itself, but know that I more consider this a show-offy cinematic short on steroids.
Advent Children's plot feels clipped, not really a fullblown movie plot. Nearly nothing happens, several big fights and minimal plot development, just enough to get to the next storyboard section. For a 'movie' little to no effort is given to develop any of the characters. The plot itself appears as a neat thought-experiment in potential FF7 aftermath, but ends up being rather vague and simplistic, with similarly abstract closure at the finale.
Of particular note was the music and sound. While the compositions were nice, music was literally like the video games. Fight music was loud and shot up right when a battle started, fanservice was done with an 'FF Victory Song' phone ring. Sound effects felt over-emphasised, and when the music wasn't jarring me the sound effects the ambient/environmental sounds lacked realism or were altogether missing, leaving awkward silent moments. (Which usually ramped quickly into Fighting music.) I think this movie would have sat MUCH better with me had the sound been better produced.
This is NOT a good movie. But, as I said, the eyecandy is marvellous and the fight scenes are grand. That is what this movie is about, so enjoy it - for what it should be taken as, a movie length short, or even more, a really long game cinematic, designed to get oohs and ahhs and appeal to FF fans.
There will be some potential spoilers ahead so beware.
I hardly ever review movies, but this one in particular i felt i had to review. This movie Final Fantasy 7 Advent Children, based off the ultra popular rpg (Final Fantasy VII) for the ps1 has been in the works for quite some time. After the years of hype and the dozens of trailers (none of which i ever saw, i had only seen stills) this movie got the legions of fans really excited about seeing their favorite characters on the big screen. I myself had played and completed the game a few times like any good fan, and being such a movie freak i was pretty excited myself. So i had thought to myself, "WHAT COULD GO WRONG?".
Well, the movie started out OK in the first 20 minutes, but then things get out of hand as the movie progressed. Without a doubt, this is the best looking CGI animation around, but that won't help a weak plot, undeveloped characters,and over indulgent action scenes.
Here is the story basically. These three silver haired nancy boys in leather who have nothing to do with the game, are supposedly clones of Sephiroth (he's the villain of the game who had supposedly murdered all his supposed clones)are trying to kidnap all the children for some reason that was not really explained all that well, probably to make an army (of kids?) They also center some of the story on some kid named Denzel, i don't know who this kid is, or what his point is, he just seems depressed all the time. So the sephiroth clones also are involved in some kind of scheme involving some disease called geostigma, that only affects the children, this disease seems to cause boredom and small amounts of skin discoloration.
So now Cloud must save the day from these guys. Apparently Cloud and his fellow team mates have learned the ability of flight, i felt a little insulted that these characters where flying around a city fighting a dragon and landing on there feet all the time. Maybe if the movie wasn't so over the top, then the view relax into it and then they can be amazed by something incredible. The real problem of this movie is logic. Now i know what you are gonna say, "But it's called Final FANTASY! it should have those ideas in it!" well that is a foolish way to think, the game based itself in some kind of reality and the movie should follow through in that CONTEXT. Context and logic in this movie is inconsistent, i could explain it all, but if i did, i would end up writing the screenplay.
Also some scenes in this movie were extremely contrived and trite. like when all of the characters from the game show up just in the nick of time for their obligatory screen time so as not to upset the fans. They show up, do there bit and pretty much have no point in the story.
If this is too long here is the simpler review-
the pros- the first 20 minutes top-notch cgi animation decent action scenes visually stunning
the cons- illogical over indulgent action/ unbalanced action (leaves the viewer jaded at the climax) weak plot super human characters=no suspense the j-rock soundtrack/score (what happened to the orchestra?) Horrible ending
BIG TIME SPOILER-
Now the ending of this movie really disappointed me. they could have had gone the really cool and sweet ending where cloud dies and meets up with aeris in the after life but after the great battle at the end cloud gets shot in the back, the kinda wound where the bullet blast out through the chest. then cloud has his 100th flashback in the movie and then wakes up in a pool of lifestream. (now i remember the lifestream in the game, but it did not have resurrecting properties, if it did, they could have brought aeris back to life, thus making a completely different story) so cloud is brought back to life and everyone has a party and dives into the pool and we have a ultra cheezy hallmark/ lifetime type moment.
not that the movie doesn't have it's moments. its is worth seeing for its visuals. but thats all.
other than that it's not really a good movie. it is strictly for blinded fans of the game. not for people who care about plot and character and story telling.
Without actually spoiling the storyline, I must admit that after seeing AC we have been putting pieces together with my friends relying on our knowledge of FFVII. Seeing it second time allowed to actually pay attention to the story more and most of the questions we may have had were answered. Some were not. AC is clearly for FFVII players/fans and doesn't honestly try to be anything else. There is little to none realism in it outside FFVII world which serves the purpose. Music is mostly reconstructed FFVII themes with a heavier touch (TBM team according to end credits) and works well with the eye candy without exceptions. I found the music enhancing the experience added to the visual fireworks in all situations.
We all know you can't put a FFVII in 1.5 hours and keeping that in mind the storyline actually offered more to me than I expected. There are two issues at hand in FFVII : AC and both stories were wrapped up very smoothly between the action sequences. And trust me when I say there's a lot of it. Action that is.
I'm changing my vote from 9 to 10 after watching it the second time because I had missed a few explanatory sequences I couldn't put together the first time that provided some answers. As a warning, it's going to be easy to disregard the story and concentrate on graphics, but try not to judge the Adevent Children because of that. If you don't let the story in, it's no wonder it seems sloppy.
I'm not going to praise the graphics because I assume we all know they are awesome, which might be an understatement. Especially characters talk so much more with their facial expressions than ever before. I hope you pay attention to the storyline for it actually makes sense and works well with the whole. Get ready for the ride of your life, there are no breaks.
Graphically, this movie was stunning. The movements and details of the characters seemed lifelike, except for the fighting sequences of course. This movie is based around the action scenes, which were beautifully choreographed. Though the camera does move a little fast, it emphasizes the characters' supernatural abilities well.
The music is just a regurgitation of the game's soundtrack. Some of the tracks are used from the Final Fantasy VII Piano Collection, such as Aeris and Tifa's themes. The music is superb of course but that fact that they just recycled it keeps the movie from getting a perfect score.
The sound effects were done well. The clashing swords and the exploding bombs roared out of the screen, harmonizing perfectly with the fast-paced action sequences. Of course, this made for very enjoyable fight scenes.
Story and Characters: 3/10
Here is where the movie falls apart. Of course, the movie is designed for people who have played the game before. Though they briefly explain the world of Final Fantasy VII, it's hardly enough to cover the game's complex story. The movie make no mention of what Materia is and the movie doesn't even introduce "Tifa's friends." They all just randomly come flying in to save the day against what seems to be Bahamut.
The movie's story had no coherent plot. Sephiroth's revival at the end was cheesy and seemed to be put in there simply because the story writers couldn't think of a more interesting antagonist. The shots of Aeris were also randomly placed. Though these scenes did reveal Cloud's guilt about letting her die, the director definitely overused the scenes.
The transitions to the fight scenes look like they were written by a drunk fourth grader. There was absolutely no point to Kadaj's engagement with Cloud at the beginning other than for the sake of fighting. He sends his two goons to go rattle Cloud's feathers then calls them back just before he's about to get hurt. Quite the same happens in Tifa's fight with Loz. Loz doesn't even clarify what it is he's looking for. All he does is say "let's play" then on comes the fight scene. These sort of transitions pretty much continue all the way until the hero is victorious and everyone is happily celebrating.
The characterization is absolutely terrible. Kadaj doesn't seem to have any clear cut ambitions; he only wants to "see his Mother and have her tell him what to do." In the first half the movie, Cloud just seems to be bumbling around until he magically develops his will to fight in his meeting with Vincent at Ajit. Tifa remains a static character, apparently serving to help Cloud to change himself to do whatever it is he needs to do. As for the rest of Cloud's party, we know nothing about them except what they look like and how they fight. Red XIII says only one line during the entire movie.
Reno and Rude of the Turks made for nice comic relief though their appearances were random. They too were static characters. Rufus was a little too mysterious in his dialogue and appearance, especially when compared to his personality in the game.
There are some continuity errors, if the movie is supposed to be a sequel to the game. In the movie, Cloud is confused and depressed. In the end of the video game, however, he is exactly the opposite of that. It seems like the movie writers decided to take his character transformation from the game and duplicate it in the movie. Also, I was under the impression that Midgar was pretty much destroyed by Meteor almost hitting it. I guess a few parts of the city survived despite having a moon sized rock come almost crashing into it.
It's not a bad movie for those who have played the game. It's a nice visual aid to see how the battles are fought in real time and what the characters really look like (aside from blocky polygons). However, I don't recommend this movie at all to those who haven't enjoyed the game. You will be absolutely lost since the video game's plot is extremely complex in and of itself.
For those who have enjoyed the video game's excellent story, this movie will visually blow you away. If you want some good old action, this is the movie to watch. If you want anything more than that, look elsewhere.