Two years since that fateful day.... After Meteor Fall, the lifestream went back into the planet. The greed and sadness was washed from the earth. All that was left was the aftermath, and the memories of those lost. People began to rebuild their lives, and homes. Midgar was deserted, and a new city called Edge emerged. Here, everyone thought they could begin again.
Then the disease came...Geostigma. With the only hope for the world also in dire sickness and grief, they knew it was time...Time for those with Jenova to take back the planet. It was time for their Reunion. A reunion to bring back the one who could destroy them all...Sephiroth.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was released in 2005, in Japan in the theaters. This is the first movie made by Square-Enix, since their near death with The Spirits Within.
This movie is something to definitely behold. There is not too much left between CG films, and live films, and Advent Children pushed it even closer.
Advent Children is set to happen 2 years after the events of the original Final fantasy VII on the Playstation console. This movie is definitely for the fans of the game. If you are set to watch the film, you might want to do your homework on the game itself first. If you go into the film with no knowledge of the game's story, you might miss some of the important things.
First let's get to the visual of the film. There are very few words to describe the amount of detail and the stunning scenes in this movie. There is new, breath-taking locations, along with the familiar ones of the FFVII world. The characters are detailed all the way down to the strands of hair on their head. The facial expressions, and the movements are the closest thing to real out there. Both the Japanese and American version voice overs match almost perfectly. There is both beauty, and disaster in the film, and both are given the same care in creation, thus making it more of a believable world.
For those who want action, there is action, more action, and even more action! The action sequences in Advent Children come close to surpassing any action film I have seen recently. The battle sequences are well done, and fast paced, to keep you right on the edge of the seat. Fights such as
Tifa and Loz's are certainly in the top ranking fights of film history.
The characters though are greatly handled, are given very little background, or story. But if you have played the game, you will know all there is to know about them. This is the reason it is more of a fan film, than just a movie. Without the game knowledge, you will not be so engaged with the characters as the rest of us are. But there is still enough meat between the fight scenes, to once again get involved with these guys plights again. You find that their journey has left them in a new place, with difficult tasks to conquer. You want to see everything come together, and them to triumph once again.
The music was just as lavish as the original game. The infamous One-Winged Angel was given a more hard rock sound, which is actually more liked than the original version. Each melody was new, and a joy to listen to, while still keeping true to the original sound track.
Advent Children also introduced us to three new antagonists, in the forms of Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo. They were given the same malice, and hatred as the games famous villain, Sephiroth, but in different forms. Almost like they were each a part of Sephiroth's soul. At first I thought this would be too much for the film to have three villains on top of Sephiroth, but Kadaj's gang was kept on the down-low, so as not to over due Sephiroth's arrival.
You were even once again transported to the place of tears, when you finally see Aerith (Aeris) in the final scenes. It almost seemed like she was saying good bye for the final time. And it is then you see the all time first...Cloud smiles. It was worth the movie to finally see our hero rejoice.
Even if you are not a fan of the Final Fantasy series, this is still a great film to see. The visual presentation, action, and story are of great quality. It definitely shows that the CG films are becoming something to be reckoned with. Within the first week of sales in Japan, Advent Children sold 420,000 copies, which was over 90% of the issues available. It became the top seller at places like Amazon.com, and it was ranked the second highest selling video in America on the week of April 30, 2006.
There were some bad reviews for Advent Children as well, but in almost all of them, it was said that the writer never played the game. So it was a little more confusing to them.
In 2007, Advent Children collectors set was released in the US. The biggest additions to the film was the short film Last Order: Final Fantasy VII, and the novel On the Way to a Smile. Both are tie-ins to the series, but are not considered to be a part of the Compilation.
It is planned to have a Blue Ray DVD called Advent Children Pieces released by 2008. This will boast new scenes, and things taken out of the original movie. Square was quoted as saying that the Pieces version is not meant to be a extended version, but a replacement version of the original. We can only hope that they will be kind enough to give an English translation of Last Order with that release.
Overall, this is a wonderful work of art. Advent Children is for the CG film world, what Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs® was to Hollywood in 1937. If you are a fan of Final Fantasy VII, or Final Fantasy all together, you should go and get this piece of the series. If you are not a fan, try renting it first. Then see if you would like to have it for good. I am almost certain you will.