Final Fantasy: Advent Children
Distributed by: Square Enix
Reviewed by Ismael Manzano
A movie sequel to one of my favorite RPGs of all time? I couldn’t believe my ears when, several months ago, I heard about the upcoming release of Final Fantasy: Advent Children by Square Enix. At the time, two things ran through my mind. The first was whether it would be released in the States or just in Japan and the second was that they’d better not screw this up like we did with The Spirits Within.
Advent Children takes places two years after the end of the game. The materia that was once used liberally by pretty much everyone, is gone—mostly—and all of Shinra’s businesses have gone belly up as a result. A rare and incurable disease has emerged threatening the lives of people all around the world. Even Cloud, the main character from the game, has contracted it and has distanced himself from his friends as a result.
A new enemy emerges (Kadaj) looking for Mother (Jenova) so he can bring all those with her cells in them—like Cloud—together for “The Reunion.” Needless to say, this Reunion, is not of the happy, hand holding variety, but rather, more like a chaotic, destroy the entire planet, variety. Surprisingly, old enemies Rude and Reno contact Cloud and his friends, claiming to want to help repair the damage caused by the old ways of the Shinra Company. At first, Cloud wants nothing to do with them or their problem, but Kadaj has designs for him and his friends, and it isn’t long before Cloud and his sword are once again at the service of a noble cause.
But fighting a two-pronged battle—against Kadaj and his own diseased body—can Cloud overcome the overwhelming odds alone? Can he learn to trust his old enemies as well as seek help from his friends?
Overall, I loved this movie; it has everything a Final Fantasy 7 lover could want. All your favorite FF7 characters make appearances in this sequel/adaptation of the widely popular game—though I would have liked to see more of each of them individually; guess you can’t have everything. Although I must say, for the short time they were there, the characters were dead on and entertaining, exactly how I pictured them being in pseudo-real life.
Even Aeris makes a few, brief appearances in the movie; diehard Aeris fans will be both ecstatic about her pivotal role in Advent Children and disappointed that her screen time was so minimal.
The graphics blew me out of my mind, as did the choreography of the fight scenes. They took the very straight forward battle sequences of the game and made it into something fluid and unbelievably exciting. It got me hyped and hungry to play the game again for the tenth time. As a side note, and because it was my favorite part of the movie, I have one thing to say: Bahamut battle. If nothing else convinces you to see this movie, that had better, otherwise, you either have no imagination or you aren’t a fan of the series.
Although the ending did perplex me just a bit—maybe I’m not as sharp as I think I am—I still loved the movie. It’s really pleasurable to watch and it was done the only way a FF game should ever be made into a movie, with blazing computer graphics and beautiful fighting sequences. Maybe I’m biased—being an avid FF lover—but I could have watched it all day long without getting bored. Buy it and enjoy your choice of either the English dubbed version of the movie to avoid reading the translations at the bottom of the screen or the subtitled one for the sake of purity, but either way, it’s a must have.