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Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Square Enix
DVD Movie
Final Fantasy VII
  • April 25, 2006
  • September 10, 2005
  • April 24, 2006
A- 42 total ratings
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2 Discs of Bliss. Kinda.

A Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children review Author: Wiegraf Published: May 13, 2006
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Upon the original announcement of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children as a feature-length straight-to-DVD film rather than a remake and\or sequel to the original had to raise some eyebrows. Considering the dubious "success" of The Spirits Within (perhaps only good because it convinced Uwe Boll to at least not make horrid CGI video game movies), most people probably waited for Advent Children with apprehension rather than excitement. Well, AC has finally hit American shores in full, non-pirated glory, and what is the verdict?
Well, for one, it's definitely better than The Spirits Within. However, that's not exactly saying much.
Let's look at what Advent Children is all about. Taking place two years after the end of Final Fantasy VII, we once again are placed in the shoes of erstwhile protagonist Cloud, who has begun a delivery service with the help of longtime friend Tifa (voiced by B-list celeb Rachel Leigh Cook). At this point early in the film, we meet our three white-haired villains (this is the easiest way to tell who the villains are, apparently), Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo. These three are seeking their "Mother" and believe that Cloud knows the whereabouts of it. At the same time, Rufus and what's left of Shinra also wants Cloud to help them, by protecting them against Kadaj and his gang. I won't give away any spoilers, but suffice to say that there are fight sequences out the "Yazoo" (see what I did there? Sigh...I'll be here all week) for the majority of the film.
What Advent Children gets right is the immersion in the world of Cloud and his friends, the impressive CGI fight sequences, and the fanboyish like zeal with which they drop in FFVII references and in-jokes. What killed The Spirits Within was definitely the fact that people who loved the games saw nothing of it the film - beyond a guy named "Sid" there was nothing really connecting the two. Advent Children features several scenes of references, both funny and otherwise, to the original game. Some are better than others, however.(when Yuffie says "Okay, who's been using my materia!", I about fell down laughing at the sheer cheesiness). Advent Children's fight sequences resemble The Matrix on some sort of crack that crackheads couldn't handle. Basically, people fly around the world, cut trees in half with their sword, and can somehow hold people in midair and then throw them upwards for thousands of feet. Physics be damned, because the movie is best when you are seeing these amazing feats, far beyond anything anyone could ever dream of doing.
So where does Advent Children lose it's way? times the movie seems like it falls too much in love with CGI tricks and insanely powerful characters. The later battle sequences feature unearthly zooms, dips, and cuts, and make you at times feel at a loss as to who's fighting and who's winning said fight. Also, where The Spirits Within was too plodding, sometimes Advent Children tries to do too much too soon. You'll have huge fight sequence, just enough story to move the character to another location, and then, wonder of wonders, ANOTHER huge fight sequence. Considering that fanpeople of Final Fantasy VII probably wouldn't mind a little more material, I don't understand why they didn't flush out the story a bit more in order to delve deeper into the heads of the characters (especially Kadaj, who is quite underdeveloped in the plot and seems to exist only so Cloud has an excuse to beat asses once more).
All in all, Advent Children fulfills its promise, and it is a worthy enough continuation of the Final Fantasy VII story. It's also an exciting watch, what with the fight sequences coming fast and furious...although non-FFVII players may be lost, even after watching the reminiscence of the original game included on the DVD. Either way, good flick. Not earth-shaking, but pretty good.
Editor's Grade
dotted line "A technorgy of absurd proportions, Advent Children may be the closest thing to a CGI kung fu film we ever see...but it's actually pretty good."
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