It has been two years since Cloud Strife and his friends defeated
the megalomaniac Sephiroth and avenged the death of Aerith,
two years and a lot has changed. Midgar's population, having
survived the destruction of the Meteor, is in the process
of rebuilding the new city of Edge next to the ruins of Midgar.
Cloud has become isolative and withdrawn, his soul eaten away
by the guilt he feels over Aerith's death, and a new calamity
has come in the form of a plague. Geostigma is infecting the
people and only Kadaj and his gang seem to offer a solution,
but at what price will the cure come...
Fantasy VII: Advent Children, directed by Tetsuya Nomura,
is the much anticipated sequel to one of the most popular
games on the Playstation and this double disc edition was
well worth the wait. For fans of the game, many of the locations
crop up again in the film in glorious CGI. You get to see
Aerith's house, The sleeping Forest, The Lost City of the
Ancients and of course Midgar - though it's a bit wrecked
due to the havoc caused by Sephiroth in the game. The word
"Advent" in the title refers, of course, to a second
coming, so fans of the game will have no problem working out
who the big baddie turns out to be. For the rest of you, just
sit back and enjoy.
the film is nothing short of stunning, the skin tones and
backgrounds have such detail that it's very easy to forget
that you're watching a CGI animated film. The suspension of
disbelief works best with the inanimate objects in the film,
so much so that at the end of the titles, when we see Cloud
riding his cool motorbike Fenrir, its difficult not to think
that they actually built one.
movement for the most part is flawless with only a few instances
of chunkiness to pull you back to remembering that this isn't
real. As you would expect from FFVII there are a lot
of sword fights and fast action packed sequences, all well
staged, all edge of the seat moments. Character design, like
the rest of the film is excellent, even Clouds hair, which
was a little on the freaky side in the game, has been given
a make over. The girls look great but my favourite character
design has to be Vincent.
On the first disc you get the main feature and have the choice
of English or Japanese 5.1 audio, with optional subtitles
in English Italian and Arabic. Both tracks are well worth
your time, with the Japanese version having the slight dramatic
edge. The soundtrack, by Nobuo Uematsu, uses much of the original
music, but with an updated operatic edge. This is music that
has to be played loud and proud. Also, on the first disc is
Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII, which is a twenty-two
minute short which uses visuals from the original game to
tell the back-story for anyone who hasn't played it. Considering
the game sold nine million, and even second hand will cost
you as much as a modern game, there can't be many of you out
the second disc you get a few deleted scenes, which for the
most part are just segments that have been edited from the
fights. For those of you that never made it to the Venice
Film Festival, where the original rough cut was shown, the
makers have generously included it. This alone runs to twenty
minutes and includes much of the film with some stuff taken
from the game to stand in for incomplete sections. The last
large piece is a Making of featurette which is both
illuminating and interesting - looking at all aspects of the
films creation - it even has an interview with the tattooist.
This runs at thirty-six minutes. Last on the disc are the
original eight trailers for the film and a look at the upcoming
new FF game.
many CGI films FFVII has quite an in-depth and involving
story by script writer Kazushige Nojima. Thematically there
are a number of things going on simultaneously. Clouds guilt
over the death of Aerith, and his inability to see that he
does have a family with Tifa and the orphans, mirrors Kadja's
attempt to find the head of Jenova, whom he refers to as Mother.
Like King Lear, it is only through loosing everything,
or so he thinks, that he comes to the realisation of just
how much he has, unlike Kadja who looses everything when he
gains the object of his desire. This is also a film about
self redemption and the forgiveness of sins.
of the game will be pleased to learn that, apart for some
new faces, all the main characters make reappearances, though
what the uninitiated are going to make of Cait Sith, Red XIII
or Bahamut Sin god only knows. Therein lays the films only
weakness, I could imagine that it could be a little impenetrable
without knowing the back-story, but the films dedication states
this is made for those who loved the game. Still, they have
included Reminiscence to help you catch up.
what is there to say, great CGI, great script, an all round
great film which I watched over and over again, this is a
must have DVD for everyone.