“My reunion…that you’re dying to see…” – Thoughts on Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
In the realm of amazing CGI movies to watch, I have to beg that you check out Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
Most folks have either played or at least watched someone play Final Fantasy VII but if you haven’t you may want to go borrow a copy and spend a day or two playing it through. Advent Children, while brilliant, has the major flaw of being very confusing to anyone who isn’t familiar with that well known game from the series. If you are familiar with the game then you’ll probably be quite happy with the storyline as presented in the film.
Advent Children is set 2 years after the events of the game. It opens with a recap of the events of the game, told from Marlene’s (Barrett’s daughter) point of view. She mentions a new disease that has started to spread with no rhyme or reason called Geostigma. It weakens its victims and causes them great pain as it spreads over their bodies. As far as they can tell it’s not contagious but they think it might be the planet’s way of expressing its own pain.
Tifa still runs a bar and looks after Marlene and another orphan named Denzel. She also handles the incoming jobs for Cloud’s messenger service. He doesn’t return to Midgar as often and we finally see him after Tifa accepts a job from the remaining Turks, Reno and Rude, and leaves Cloud a voicemail with a meeting place.
And that’s how the story begins.
Throughout the film we do get to see Cloud meet back up with and join forces with his old team, even having a bit of a thought provoking discussion with Vincent after a battle at the Temple of Ancients. Cloud is still consumed by guilt over the death of Aerith and even Zack and even when he finds himself confronted with Aerith’s spirit he cannot let go of the guilt and says that he wants to be forgiven. Aerith laughs and asks him “By who?” showing that she does not find him to blame for any of the events that occurred.
The antagonists of this movie are three “Remnants”, also called the Silver Haired Men. Led by Kadaj they are on the search for “Mother” (Jenova). Kadaj is aware that some physical piece of Jenova still exists in the world and while he doesn’t seem sure what they’ll do with it when they find “her”, the compulsion to find it is strong. He also mentions Sephiroth in both a respectful and jealous way. (Who and what these men are is explained in a later animated tie-in.)
Aside from the plot, which I was sucked into from the beginning, the animation in this movie is mind-blowing. The attention to detail is so wonderful that you almost forget you are watching a CG animated movie. The action sequences are breathtaking and I’m glad that I own the movie as every time I re-watch it I see something else that I’ve missed in the past. Even if I watched it dubbed (which I haven’t and I’m terrified to) I would have to re-watch it to catch everything.
And the music. Oh the music. Fully orchestrated tracks that echo the themes from the original game with new twists. I ended up buying the two disc soundtrack because I couldn’t get it out of my head.
The interaction between Reno and Rude is hilarious and while I liked them in the game, I absolutely LOVE them after watching them in this movie. I have to break down and even say that I no longer thought Tifa was a whiny brat after watching her in this.
And I haven’t even gotten to Sephiroth. I don’t want to spoil things but let me say that if you liked his character even a little bit in the game you will be thrilled him in the movie. I go into a happy fangirl swoon every time I see him in Advent Children.
Now I am aware that there are folks who didn’t really like this movie and if you’re one of them I’d love to hear why. If you haven’t seen it and you are a fan of the game, go watch it now and let me know what you think. Or if you love it like I do, what’s your favorite part?