Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children

Ok, before I start this up, if you’re a Final Fantasy 7 fanboy/girl, and refuse to believe that anything relating to the game can be wrong, just stop reading now. If you hate FF7 and are looking for a good bashing of the movie, stop reading now. Finally, if you don’t want spoilers, stop reading for the love of Odin. This review goes over pretty much every little nuance of the story (as weak as it is), so it’s absolutely loaded with spoilers. Anyone else may continue. And if you’re a hot chick, you may E-mail me some naked pictures of yourself.

As the title may have lead you to believe, I’ve now seen the Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children movie. What I have to say about it is pretty much irrelevant to how I feel about it, and the technical stuff here is more or less for me to nitpick and tell anyone who wants to see the movie (and doesn’t mind spoilers) what to expect. So let’s get the show on the road already.

The first thing I’m going to go over is the story. That shouldn’t take very long, since it’s the most bare-bones plot I’ve seen since Super Mario Bros (the game, not the movie). It starts off summing up what happened in FF7, and then goes on to tell you how people have become poisoned or whatnot by some mysterious force. Not long after, we learn that these people (all children, by the way) are sick because they have Jenova’s DNA or whatnot and the world doesn’t like them for it. Then these three dudes appear (with Jenova DNA of their own), bearing a resemblance to Mr. Oh-so-cool himself, Sephiroth. Turns out they’re looking for the remains of Jenova so that they can have a reunion of some kind. Blah blah blah. Cloud and company enter, cloud fights bad guys, Turks appear, say they want to help restore the world, secretly hold remains of Jenova. So stuff goes on, fight scenes happen, and the bad dudes take all the infected kids to a pool, brainwash them, and then attack the city. Leader of bad guys (forgot his name, not looking it up) summons goofy-looking Bahamut, kids become un-brainwashed, Cloud & friends defeat Bahamut. Rufus (Turk leader) reveals Jenova remains, bad guy leader gets them, Cloud chops them, bad guy cries, fight scene, bad guy turns into Sephiroth (Ooh! What a surprise!), more fight scene, Cloud wins, gets shot, come back to life, lame ending.

And that’s it. I should mention that the entire plot is completely obvious after the first ten minutes or so of the movie, so it’s not like you’re going to be surprised at all even if you didn’t read the summary. I mean, nothing at all happened, with the exception of Bahamut, that I didn’t see coming from a mile away. The tale was interesting to watch, but it was more predictable than a clock. But whatever, I’ve never been to worried about how good a plot is anyway. Unless of course, I’m reading a book.

Now while the plot is passable, there are a few things I have to pick out. For one, the brainwashing of the children was totally irrelevant. They did nothing but stand around mindlessly while they were brainwashed, and as far as I remember, the bad dudes never even mentioned using them for anything. But I digress, there are some bigger issues abound. Like Rufus, for example. When he first appears, he’s in a wheelchair, all cloaked as if he’s horribly scarred or whatnot. Later on, he hops off the wheelchair and throws off the cloak, revealing that he looks just as normal as ever. But he’s still got an eye-patch. Any guesses? Yep, it too gets thrown off, and under it is a perfectly good eye! Why? Why? There was no logic behind pretending to be crippled and deformed. Maybe he just wanted to fool everyone. But there was no real reason presented.

And the biggest issue I have with the movie is the entire Bahamut scene. Firstly, the leader of the bad guys takes the Bahamut materia and absorbs it into himself. The game had us believe that materia was clipped onto your armor/weapon or whatnot, and not that you’d absorb the damn thing and create a neon tumor. Then when the big dragon appears, he looks like a total homo, with stupid-looking armor and terribly designed wings. I swear, this incarnation of the King of Dragons does almost as much injustice to him as his FFX representation. And then to top it all off, the good guys start attacking it! Why would you attack a goddamned summon monster? Theoretically, they should just be able to summon it again. but that’s not even the worst of it all. Near the end, Bahamut flies way, way up to the top of a tower, and Cloud has to follow him somehow. Let’s see, what’s the best way to do this? Well the idiots that made this movie decided that each character from the FF7 game should fly in and throw him up a bit more. It’s impossible to describe this pile of shit scene with words, so I drew a diagram. and then, finally, Cloud actually manages to carve this gigantic beast – the most revered summon of like ever – right in two. Stupid, stupid, stupid. And Cloud wasn’t even using any materias. At least, I didn’t see any tumors of colour on him.

That’s pretty much all I found unacceptable there though. Otherwise, it’s only extremely nitpicky, like physically impossible fighting maneuvers and hair that was never meant ot look realistic. And to be fair, it’s time I said what was good about the movie.

Firstly, and most obviously once you’ve seen their first couple scenes, Reno and Rude make great comedy relief. Nearly every scene they’re found in is hilarious or at least will make you smile a little. then there’s the fact that Reno can crawl up walls like Spider-Man, which I found extremely entertaining, especially when Rude tried to climb up with him on one occasion and promptly fell flat on his back. they’re easily the best characters in the movie. I was never too big on any characters from FF7 (with the exceptions of Vincent and Barret), but if these guys played a role in the game at all similar to the one they had in the movie, I can’t believe that I missed it. Another thing that was awesome is Barret’s gun arm. In the flashback at the beginning, the gun was tiny and I made an angry note of that right away, but when he popped in later on, it was huge and shot like fifty bullets at a time. After rereading it, that sentence sounds unnecessarily phallic.

There were some other really cool things going on in the movie, like Cloud’s bike. the sides of the thing fan out, and reveal a rack of swords for him to choose from. And by the end, he’s used and lost all of them. The fight scenes were pretty fun, except for the fact that a few maneuvers that various characters pulled off were just plain impossible. And I’m not talking run-up-a-wall impossible here. I can accept a lot of over-the-top stuff, but they crossed a couple lines here. Other than that, though, lots of swordfighting and a cool fistfight with Tifa and one of the bad guys.

I’m sure there was a lot else that I both liked and disliked about the flick, but I can’t think of ’em at the moment, so I’m gonna wrap this baby up. Like I said before, everything I mentioned was for the sake of the review. None of it really impacts my final judgement. All things good and bad aside, I will say that this movie was a success on the grounds that I was entertained. That’s really all it takes for me to give something a good review these days. As long as I find a movie/game/song/what-have-you entertaining, chances are that I’m gonna end up giving it a positive rating. So the FF7 movie, although a lot of things about it made me angry, gets a solid A-. Somewhere between 85 and 90 on the percent scale. If I’d seen it in a theater, I wouldn’t ask for my $10 back. I would watch it again, but I surely wouldn’t buy it. It was much better than I’d anticipated (I expected very little. Video game movies are always the suck), but it wasn’t perfect. I’ll recommend it, just don’t tell me that it’s the best movie ever (not even in the top 50). I know it’ll be way overrated, because the game was, and those sheep that are Square fans (I personally like Enix a lot) will fall in love with anything that has Cloud or Sephiroth on it. Example: Ehrgeiz. That was one of the worst fighting games I’ve ever had the misery of playing, yet many loved it for its FF7 tie-ins. But now I’m way off-topic. Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children is worth your time. Go watch it. Just don’t ask me to talk about it any more.

The Good Stuff:
  • Reno & Rude = HALARIUS!!1!
  • Pretty. Very pretty.
  • Barret’s got a frickin’ sweet arm-gun
  • Cloud’s bike is also frickin’ sweet
  • Action scenes are engaging
The Bad Stuff:
  • Story moves pretty slow, and is mostly irrelevant
  • Smells like fanfiction
  • The Bahamut tower scene
  • Goes too far over the top now and then

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