When a mysterious illness is linked to an insidious plot resurrect an old enemy, Cloud is forced to take sword in hand if he's to save the planet once again.
Whatever this reviewer needed to know, he would get his information from movies. For example, if you asked him about Argentina’s First Lady, he’d tell you what he knew from the musical movie Evita (1996) directed by Alan Parker and starring Madonna. If you asked him about the 1972 massacre at the Munich Olympic Games, he’d tell you what he knew about Steven Spielberg’s Munich (2005) starring Eric Bana. And if you asked him what he knew about the very popular role playing game Final Fantasy, he’d tell you what he knew about Hironobu Sakaguchi and Moto Sakakibara’s CGI movie Final Fantasy: The Spirit Within (2001) featuring the voices of Ming Na and Alec Baldwin. While that movie didn’t exactly justify what the console game was all about, it boasted of some impressive computer animation. That was what the reviewer thought, until he saw this Japanese movie directed by Tetsuya Nomura and Takeshi Nozue.
Set two years after the events of the game, this movie continues the story where a disease is spreading through the planet. Guilty and haunted by a dark past, the male protagonist is living an isolated life away from his friends. What follows is a rather complicated plot involving an orphanage, a search for an alternative planet to call home, and a mysterious man who is searching for his mother. In all seriousness, the hero has to rise from his seclusion to fight the new evil with his friends.
If you knew nothing about the computer game, this plot may be somewhat confusing to you – Why would anyone care about a hero who chooses to shy away from civilization? Why would anyone care about a “Sleeping Forest” and a “Forgotten City”? And why would anyone care about a drab and colourless world where no one seems to smile? To consider the storyline uninteresting would be undermining the popular culture behind this bestselling game, but to the uninitiated, this may be just another Apocalypse movie which showcases the helplessness of mankind when the world seems to have lost all hope. If you really have zero knowledge about the background, we’d recommend you watch it as a solitary movie and try your best to follow the plot development throughout its 126 minutes.
If anything, this updated version of the 2005 movie is meant to include 26 more minutes of footage and over 1000 revised scenes to show off the already swanky computer animation on your blu ray player. The strands of hair flowing in the wind, the specks of sand flying in the air and the droplets of water trickling down the body are all given first rate treatment here. If you lose track of the convoluted storyline, the visuals will keep you going. Add a sophisticated music score (the computer game soundtracks are bestsellers too, if you must know), a superb art direction and some intricate character designs, you too, would have something to talk about the next time your friends asked you what you know about Final Fantasy.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Blu Ray disc will please fans of the franchise with its load of special features. Legacy of Final Fantasy VII is a seven minute featurette which chronicles the computer game’s history and how it became a cultural commodity in Japan. If you needed some background before watching the movie, this is one good starting point. Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII is a 24 minute clip from the video game (check out the blocky animation and the adorable speech balloons) telling the back story of the movie while Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII Compilation is a 30 minute clip from the game which gives you even more information about the series. Both will please die hard fans while alienating viewers which do not see the big fuss in the immense popularity. The 28 minute On the Way to a Smile – Episode: Denzel is a beautifully 2D animated film is a spinoff from the franchise which may either please die hard fans or make more people scratch their heads in confusion. Rounding up the special features is a seven minute Sneak Peek at Final Fantasy XIII which features even more impressively eye popping animation from the next series in the video game franchise. It does make one wonder whether there is an end to all these though. Included on the disc are also a slew of Trailers of the movie from different game shows throughout the years.
The disc’s visual transfer is perfect (what else would you expect from a Blu Ray disc?) and is the sole reason why you should get this, while you can choose to watch the movie is either the mind blowing English, Japanese or French Dolby True HD 5.1.
by John Li
Posted on 2 August 2009