Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children by Kuzu Ryu Sen

Also Known As: FF7: AC, FFVII: AC, Advent Children
Genre: Action
Format: 1 Movie
Allegiance: Square Enix
Director: Nomura Tetsuya, Nozue Takeshi
Vintage: 2005
Intelligence Agency Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen
Two years have passed since the great conflict between AVALANCHE, Shinra, and Sephiroth concluded with the ferocious battle at the Northern Crater. Now, the world and Midgar are rebuilding under the guidance of a repentant Shinra Company. For Cloud and Tifa, who are running a delivery service and serving as mentors and older siblings to the neighbourhood orphans, life has become quite normal. Yet, there are some remnants from the struggle of two years prior, and they seek to revive old memories and force Reunion… at all costs.

Field Agent Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen 
Overall 6.00

Ah, Final Fantasy VII, the game that marked Square Inc. (now Square Enix) and the Sony PlayStation as big players in the US market, and created an unprecedented interest in the RPG genre. However, Square has been hard-pressed to match that success since, and the financial flop that was Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within forced the company to merge with Japanese video game giant Enix. As a result, one could view Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children as an attempt to leech off the profitability of the game, while shedding any ill reputation acquired due to FF: TSW.

Of course, someone should have told Square that when you leech off of a popular franchise, that doesn’t mean you have to rehash its plot with a few different characters. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children basically destroys any shred of closure in terms of characterization or plot that Final Fantasy VII achieved, only to resolve them in what is essentially the same exact manner. Naturally, characterization is resoundingly poor, with the dialogue being very close in nature to what was already said in the game. The plot, apart from having its skeleton exported from the game, features at least half a dozen serious holes, and the scene order in the first half definitely felt out of sync. The majority of secondary characters show up for all of 5 minutes, and are lucky to get a half dozen lines of dialogue. Finally, any new characters, namely the main villains, have little to no background information supplied. I guess they’re there simply to give Cloud someone to cross swords with.

Mind you, the movie is very pretty, and very well animated. The backgrounds, extras, and scenery are all very detailed and well depicted. The character designs look very polished, while maintaining all the charm that they had in the game. Voice acting is done quite capably (for what few lines of dialogue there actually was), save Tifa’s half-grunting, half-moaning combat noises, which marked an otherwise above-average performance from Ito Ayumi. To add to the atmosphere, Uematsu Nobuo’s soundtrack, containing mainly remixed tracks from the game, lost none of the power that it had in the game. The only real issue was with the fight choreography, which was basically a cross between Dragonball-style and feudal China martial art movie-style; that is to say, long and consisting of mostly normal strikes and parries, coupled with smashing through buildings and flying twenty feet with every hit taken.

The saving grace to this film is that while it provides utterly nothing of substance, it also provides nothing particularly irksome or anger-inducing. If you’re an FFVII fanboy/girl, well, you’re probably not going to listen to reason anyway. For the rest of us, basically, the best way to approach a film like this is to shut off the brain and just look at the pretty feminine Japanese males. Like Rude said, “I don’t know if it’s powerful or not, but it certainly will be flashy.”