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Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Square Pictures/Columbia Pictures
  • July 11, 2001
  • September 15, 2001
  • August 3, 2001
B- 27 total ratings
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Without Spirit

A Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within review Author: Jeriaska Published: May 01, 2006
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In his reader review Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Ishin Ookami comments, "We all go to movies for different reasons. Some want to see stuff blow up real good, some want to take their minds off their troubles. Others want to see a romantic tale while others just want to laugh. Final Fantasy didn't appeal to any of these targets." Why the review would then go ahead and dole out an A rating after having developed such insights into the movie's shortcomings stymies the mind.

Hironobu Sakaguchi, producer the original Final Fantasy games, and many other extremely talented individuals, invested years into creating The Spirits Within at Square's headquarters in Honolulu, Hawaii. Sakaguchi's critical failure was to let a personal problem interfere with his creative process, a snowball that began rolling after the Super Famicom generation of games. Anyone who has played through Final Fantasy VII and seen the movie will recognize in both a conspicuous involvement with Gaia theory, a soft-boiled stab at spirituality centering on the earth as a recycling plant of souls. This all arises from the director's emotional involvement with the death of a loved one, as he has stated in interviews. Sadly, the meaning behind his loss was not eloquently expressed by the thematic subjects of the film.

The odds against Hironobu Sakaguchi, a genius of the videogame genre, were stacked too heavily against him on this project, simply because he had no way of expressing himself. He did not know the language of film, making him ill-equipped to direct a 100 million dollar project. He did not know the English language, requiring him to rely upon a team of American screenwriters. The screenplay relies on mysticism and gunfire, by no means a suitable context for the brilliant visual designs.

Had Square invested in an adaptation or sequel to any previous game in the series, or just stuck to making games, they could have avoided years of financial woes that would only recover with the success of Final Fantasy X.

Originally published 8/13/04
Editor's Grade
dotted line "Visually stunning, but poorly scribed, and a terrible blow to Square's financial situation."
B- dotted line Average Reader Score (Based on 27 ratings) | Rate it Now
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Endoplasmic Reticulum
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