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Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)

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A scientist makes a last stand on Earth with the help of a ragtag team of soldiers against an invasion of alien phantoms.

Directors:

Hironobu Sakaguchi, Motonori Sakakibara (co-director)

Writers:

Hironobu Sakaguchi (story), Al Reinert | 4 more credits »
3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ming-Na Wen ... Doctor Aki Ross (voice) (as Ming-Na)
Alec Baldwin ... Captain Gray Edwards (voice)
Ving Rhames ... Ryan (voice)
Steve Buscemi ... Neil (voice)
Peri Gilpin ... Jane (voice)
Donald Sutherland ... Dr. Sid (voice)
James Woods ... General Hein (voice)
Keith David ... Council Member #1 (voice)
Jean Simmons ... Council Member #2 (voice)
Matt McKenzie ... Major Elliot (voice)
John DeMita ... BCR Soldier #1 / Space Station Technician #2 / Additional Voices (voice)
Matt Adler ... Additional Voices (voice)
Steve Alterman Steve Alterman ... Additional Voices (voice)
David Arnott ... Additional Voices (voice)
Cathy Cavadini ... Additional Voices (voice) (as Catherine Cavadini)
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Storyline

In the year 2065, the next great assault against an invading race of phantom-like aliens is about to be launched. Dr. Aki Ross, a brilliant young scientist, races to find the invaders' secrets, not only to save the planet, but herself as well after her body is infected by alien particles. She teams up with the prestigious Deep Eyes military squadron, led by her old friend Grey Edwards. But as Aki, her mentor Dr. Sid, and Grey work toward a peaceful end, the scheming General Hein devises a plot to eradicate the aliens in one swift, destructive blow...even if it destroys the Earth right along with them. Written by H2F

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The land where dreams mix up with reality and love to bring you a beautiful epic. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 July 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gaia: Final Fantasy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$137,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,408,853, 15 July 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$32,131,830, 26 August 2001

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$85,131,830
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS (Digital DTS Sound)| Dolby | SDDS (8 channels)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in 2065. See more »

Goofs

Deep in the Gaia crater, Gray tries to fend off Phantoms, and shoots a group of them to his right. After a brief cut where he stops shooting, he's pointing the gun to his left. See more »

Quotes

Aki: What's happening?
Capt. Gray Edwards: Dr. Cid is implanting the Seventh Spirit directly into your body.
Aki: Then you must be my spiritual support. Gray, how sweet.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Reportedly, in the work print, right before Gray dies, Aki tells him that he must not die because she is pregnant with his child. The audience at preview screenings hated this plot point so much that it was out for the thatrical release. See more »

Connections

Spun-off from Final Fantasy (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

The Dream Within
Written by Elliot Goldenthal and Richard Rudolph (as Richard Rudolph)
Produced by Elliot Goldenthal and Matthias Gohl (as Teese Gohl)
Performed by Lara Fabian
Courtesy of Columbia Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Eye Candy But Nothing More
10 October 2002 | by marblespireSee all my reviews

For a movie based on a video game, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was very good. Next to such atrocities as Tomb Raider and Street Fighter, it positively shines, and when compared to the complete gibberish known as the Super Mario Bros. Movie...

Having said that, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within could have been A Lot Better.

If you paid attention to the Final Fantasy games, to any of the hype surrounding the movie, or to the CGI industry in general, you already know the computer animation for this movie is far-and-away the best ever done. Back when Square first started producing the movie in 1998, they were progressing at a rate of about one second of film PER DAY, because of the immense quality of the graphics, and none of that quality was lost as technology caught up and time passed. The backdops are jaw-dropping and the CGI actors look more real than some actual actors. Really simply, Square declared itself the current king of CGI animation. Pixar, Dreamworks, move over--the studio that cut its teeth on PlayStation games is in the house.

Unfortunately, having been a fan of the Final Fantasy games since it first sprouted on the original Nintendo, I'm a little jaded towards visual grandeur. And when you take that away, there isn't much left.

The plot is pretty standard--Earth is a wasteland; most of Terra's population has been wiped out by the unexpected invasion of mostly-invisible aliens called Phantoms. The remaining Earthlings struggle to survive. Aki Ross (the main character) and Dr. Cid (there's been a character named Cid in EVERY Final Fantasy production since 1991) have isolated eight Earthborn Spirits--not ghosts, but tangible lifeforms; one of them is a plant, and don't ask me how the plant has a spirit--that, if combined, can wipe the Phantoms off the planet entirely. With the help of Captain Grey Edwards and his crack band of soldiers, the Deep Eyes (Final Fantasy also has a knack for weird names--I mean, who came up with 'Premium Heart'?), Aki sets off to find, capture and use those eight Spirits. And then finally there's General Hein, a megalomaniac fellow who's just trying to blow everything up using a a very large gun.

No problem there. Anyone who plays Final Fantasy is used to Fetch Quests (in which the main characters perform a service to a ruler, generally retrieving a stolen object of enormous power, in return for help from that ruler). What I want to complain about are the characters themselves.

They are FLAT.

A lot of them die, and we don't miss them except that they don't speak any more lines. Grey and Aki (male and female lead) don't really evolve over the course of the story--and Cid is just there to provide technobabble. Oh, and by the way, there's almost no 'fantasy' elements in this movie, with the sole exception of the Spirits.

My two favorite games in the Final Fantasy series are numbers Eight and Ten. They are my favorites because they have unique, interesting, convincing characters. True, most Final Fantasy games take 40 hours or more to play, giving the writers a lot of time to flesh the characters out, but generally within the first five minutes of being introduced to a character (sometimes within the first few SECONDS, as with Zell and Kimahri) you know most or all there is to know about them--they are already convincing, already realized in the player's mind. Square's GOOD at doing that sort of thing.

If Square had bothered to invent real characters for Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the movie would have SOARED. As it is, it just barely limps along under the power of a few snappy lines of dialogue and a lot of pretty vistas.

It's worth seeing once, for the same reason any museum is worth visiting once--you'll get to see things you've never seen before and may not see again. But if you're like me and prefer your movies to have interesting characters and plotlines, be prepared for a disappointment.


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