However, a key word in the previous sentence deprecates Advent Children to an almost nullified degree: film
. Advent Children is a movie; it is intended to be a cinematic experience not unlike other films that integrate a plotline, humanize its characters by giving them emotion, and tender a true experience to the viewer by conceptualizing a raison d'etre
. Final Fantasy VII Advent Children is emotionally and conceptually bankrupt. It is misrepresented as a film and the acrimonious err on the part of the "filmmakers" is that Advent Children is regarded as a videogame rather than a movie.
I haven't seen The Sprits Within
, but I don't have to because I know exactly why it was a dismal failure, both fundamentally and financially. Similar to Advent Children, it was treated as a videogame rather than a film. Who cares whether this and that is art? (Gamers are far too worried about the legitimacy and the continuing opprobrium of videogames.) The fact of this matter is that there are fundamental differences between these two forms of media, and as such, they cannot and should not be treated interchangeably. Most games don't require a well-proportioned plot, or even a plotline at all, while very few take into consideration the humanization and emotionalization of its characters. These elements are usually not necessary because videogames are made to be player-driven; the player makes the decisions and drives the experience himself, while the creator simply provides the outlet for him. This is a fundamental antithesis to a film, where the creator shapes the entire experience for the viewer; He is in complete control of what the viewer sees, hears, and experiences in succession, creating an entirely linear experience. As such, the viewer of a film must be provided adequate tools to properly experience what the creator is attempting to convey. These tools are plotline, humanized characters, and a feasible concept (or reason for the film to exist). Advent Children has none of these characteristics.
In substitution for a well-considered plotline, 101 minutes of eye candy and action sequences are provided to the viewer, similar to how a videogame supplies the viewer with an interactive visual environment rather than a story. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of Advent Children for fans of Final Fantasy VII is the presentation of beloved characters as empty vessels. I'm not going to argue the quality (or lack thereof) of the characters in the videogame, but as presented in this movie, they are lifeless, robotic, and melodramatic. Did anybody care when the bad guy cracked the Jenova canister ("MOTHERRRRR!!! *sob*"), or when the Children were healed from whatever the fuck? I certainly didn't. Finally, what is the point or concept of this movie? What is its reason for existing? Sure its principal existence is monetary, but for the movie itself, it has no means to an end. Indeed, it barely fucking has an end! Nothing has changed by the end of the movie, no lesson is learned, no lasting cause-effect. Good films have lasting concepts, morals, lessons, impressions, memories, experiences, effects, and emotions; these concepts are left with the viewer after the credits roll.
The only lasting concept of Advent Children is that it is visually stunning. Because the necessary elements of a good film are either absent or ignored, Final Fantasy VII Advent Children is a failure as a film.
Final Fantasy VII Advent Children is awesome. There's little doubt that the technical feat achieved by Square Enix is astounding -- no one could walk away from this film without a feeling of watching what was, undoubtedly, the most visually fulfilling experience possible.