Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Directed By: Tetsuya Nomura
Say the word Squaresoft and any gamer’s head will turn. And rightfully so — Squaresoft has earned its position as king of role-playing games, mostly from its epic Final Fantasy series.
But it’s not a Squaresoft game that’s generating the most buzz at the moment. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is a fully animated, 3-D computer graphic movie based on the original PlayStation’s Final Fantasy VII, arguably the most popular RPG ever created.
Advent Children takes place two years after the events of the game and follows the adventures of hero Cloud Strife. Cloud contracts Geostigma, a sickness which infects children everywhere. There is no cure, only death. Haunted by the memories of those he could not save, Cloud pulls away from his friends and family and lives in solitude.
However, the unexpected appearance of three mysterious villains foreshadows the return of Cloud’s archenemy Sephiroth, forcing the hero to once again take a sword in hand.
An amazing soundtrack accompanies the movie’s action. It features many of the game’s beloved songs, some new ones, and a chilling, orchestrated remix of the operatic “Sephiroth Theme.”
The movie is filled with fast-paced action to widen eyes and drop jaws. The film’s first scene features an impressive motorcycle battle that is as acrobatic and ballet-like as it is violent. Cloud does not sport his traditional Buster Blade, a larger-than-life sword, but a new component blade that separates into six smaller ones. He pulls off most of his limit breaks — special, powerful moves used by each FFVII character — throughout all of his fights.
Perhaps the most impressive scene involves one of the film’s main antagonists, Kadaj, magically summoning Bahamut, a massive dragon that wreaks havoc on Cloud’s city. The beast is fought by all the characters hardcore gamers fondly remember from FFVII: Barret, Tifa, Red XIII, Cait Sith, Vincent Valentine, Yuffie and Cid.
Watching Yuffie the ninja run up towering buildings and Valentine the vampire casually flutter from one precipice to another whilst unloading his shotgun is an adrenaline rush.
But it’s not all about the action. Advent Children contains a deep theme of the endless fight between good and evil. Teamwork is also explored, as Cloud relies on his friends to propel him to great heights and defeat Bahamut. Also, anyone who has an eye for detail will notice the good guys use their right arm while the bad guys use their left arm. The movie is a must-see for any action seeker, or anyone who appreciates majestic cinematography.
Also, all FFVII fanatics will be happy to know Aerith and Zack make cameo appearances.
If anything, Advent Children is worth watching just to appreciate its visuals. This is the pinnacle of animation, putting the likes of Shrek and Finding Nemo to shame. Although the movie is full CGI, the lifelike characters and lush environment are so detailed that at times, viewers could easily believe it to be live photography.
The DVD, which was recently released in Japan, is due to drop in Canada in January, but considering its release has been pushed back numerous times, don’t hold your breath.