10-08-2015, 11:11 PM
Released in 2005 Final Fantasy VII Advent Children humbly appeared in a few shops and briefly in cinemas picked up an Honorary award at the Sitges Film Festival than quickly vanished.

- Production -

The visuals are amazing. They perfectly capture the essence of the game and bring them right up to date using some of the most impressive CG animation available. By some stroke of genius known as Tetsuya Nomura the film manges to take 18 year old blocky graphics from a playstaion 1 and build it into a fully three dimensional world. This is a massive gamble but through sheer talent they pull it off surprising well.

Every frame is immaculate. Every second could be paused and framed to be hung in a gallery. If you play the movie and slow it down by 6 times (using youtube speed feature) in one scene you can actually see bullets flying through the air, light being altered, individual strands of hair interacting with the environment and even see one superhuman character overtaking the bullets as they are fired. All of this in a second. The movie runs for just over 2 hours.

There are some interesting dual time scenes for example showing a character speaking and also travelling to a destination with the audio only brought up on the speaking scene. Also some nice modern theatre for example like when the camera swings around Denzel and reveals the next scene replacing the old one instead of a simple cut.

The use of light is inspiring. I like the way Loz shields his eyes with his hand while speaking to Tifa. A subtle subtext showing evil and good.

Colours are also used a lot. Green meaning lifestream, blue meaning pain, black disease, grey hopelessness, yellow hope, white spirit world. The movie starts off somewhat grey and washed at times than warms towards the end with a wider and more vivid use colours. Another bold move by Tetsuya Nomura to expect people to actually get this when watching the film.

- Story -

The story is an interesting mix. It follows on from the where the game left off. Which is quite a difficult feet because the games story thoroughly concluded and had no intention of a sequel. However Advent Children manages to draw you into a compelling story that is detailed when it needs to be, bold and confident interspliced with metaphysical art-story elements that ask and answer enough questions. It is subtle, charming and surprisingly fresh given the clash of genres. There are times when the visuals, music and story come together to produce some awesome moments. Very interesting use of technology; at times you can see traditional camera work with cg, and than the freedom of animation in the brutal style of anime.

There is romance but it is deeply wrapped in subtext and immersed within the story allowing you to understand and experience it rather than being force fed it.

- Soundtrack -

The soundtrack is composed by music genius Nobuo Uematsu. Some of the most memorable themes from the game are lavishly produced with painstaking care and attention. Some of the most beautiful piano pieces ever composed and lush glorious orchestra. The energy becomes more punchy with rock and metal pieces just as confidently. Fascinating use of dynamics when the attention goes from action to dialogue the music reduces to something else and than is crafted back delicately.

Some bold choices made again including finding a moment to use the victory theme and using a non narrative piano piece during a fight scene. It is during this film that music history is made with One Winged Angel.

The foley is quite simple the best you will find and the voice work is brilliant. Both the Japanese and English voice actors effortlessly breath life into the dialogue. Tifa has a suitably vacant tone to her voice, Marlene is sweet and innocent and doesn't have that weird adult-child voice. I am not usually a fan of English dubs but over the years SquareEnix have managed to understand the importance of decent English voice acting.