spikey hair and a huge ass sword

So… you found out you were a clone. You couldn’t even protect one girl who just wanted to sell flowers. But you overcame all odds, fought an evil corporation, and slayed your Y4L fanfic partner. Finally, you saved the world by almost destroying it. What do you do next? Sell cell phones.


Welcome to Final Fantasy 7 Advent Children presented by SprintNextelDoCoMoCingularVerizonTMobile.

Sigh. Square should have made Final Fantasy Xtreme Beach Volleyball instead.

Continue for spoilers.

Final Fantasy 7 Advent Children starts two years after Cloud defeats Sephiroth and reborns the world. Unfortunately, there is an unseen consequence that most of the population, Cloud included, are now suffering from a disease caused by contamination from Sephiroth’s cells. These people, I guess, are the advent children. For the most part, the story focuses on Cloud, Tifa, and a bunch of minor characters like the Shinra employees and the new Radaj villians. The Radaj gang wants to save the world by completing what Sephiroth started and Shinra wants to stop them. Cloud just wants to swing his badass swords around. Tifa? She’s not in a swimsuit playing volleyball, that’s for sure.


That’s unfortunately the problem with the movie. We all played FF7. We all have fond memories of it. We all have what we liked and remembered about it, and AC only briefly gives us that. Sephiroth wannabes and Rufus were not high on my “Why I like FF7 list”. Too much of the time is spent on Rufus, Radaj, and Reno. Reno… Reno! He gets as much screen time as Tifa. The rest of the original gang only show up in brief cameos. For instance, Cid gets three whole lines, and Cait Sith does, um, not much. Marlene gets more lines than Barrett. Chocobos? What chocobos? (This exclusion is the movie’s greatest sin considering how much $#@!@ time I spent breeding them in the game.)

Of course, no FF7 sequel would be complete without an appearence from Aeris. She plays a role in AC similar to Motoko’s role in GitS 2: Innocence where she guides Cloud along and gives him what he needs to continue. Radaj tries to remake the world by recreating Sephiroth, and, to do so, they need JENOVA so most of the first half of the movie is spent with them trying to obtain JENOVA, and after they finally obtain it, one of the members merges with it and becomes Sephiroth. Sephy and Cloud have their epic battle, and Aeris ends up giving him the inspiration to finish the fight. Of course, Cid, Red XIII, and the rest of the gang sit and watch while Sephiroth goes to work on Cloud.


Advent Children is a pretty mindless action movie. More than half the time, it’s Cloud vs. the Radaj gang or Cloud vs. Sephiroth, and while the fights are impressive, I was starting to get battle fatigue. There’s only so much “Cloud jumps 20 stories and slices something” that I can take. The other half of the time was desperately spent trying to recap the events of FF7 along with trying to explain what’s going on in AC. Like any action movie, most dialogue occurs in snippy one liners, and there really is no chance for the audience to form any sort of emotional attachment with the characters. The movie relies strongly on any previous attachment the audience may have had for the characters, and people who haven’t played the game is at a huge entertainment disadvantage.


While the CG is impressive and the character close-ups look fantastic, the overall setting is fairly bland. Most of the action happens all in Midgard, and it looks like any old industrial city. The whole movie is cloaked in greys, blacks, and a hue reminscient of old battleship blue, with only Vincent’s cape having any sort of vivid color. And giving Tifa more, uh, support, is quite possibly the worst wardrobe decision in recent memory. They could have done a lot more and provided some more epic locales. Still, the overall CG work is a level above Spirits Within.


There are redeeming qualities to AC, for example, I did enjoy the fights, and Cloud is 200% more badass than I remembered. His bike is now pimped up to hold a whole boatload of oversized swords. He can also multiply his sword. Most of his fights, like the highway bike chase, was way over the top but enjoyable nonetheless. I also liked how one of the Radaj members was sporting the FF8 gunsword… he kinda did look like Squall.

The music was fantasic. It sounded like Uematsu took the original score from FF7 and just rearranged it and that’s not a bad thing… for instance, when Aeris makes her first appearance, her theme song plays softly in the back and when the Cloud vs. Sephy fight is at its climax, One Winged Angel is humming along. The credit roll piece was fantastic as well as since it featured the FF theme. My favorite part was when Tifa knocks out one of the Radaj gang members and the victory theme starts playing–only it was someone’s cell phone ringtone. (BTW, I don’t remember cell phones in FF7… they’re suddenly everywhere now in AC, and they work underwater.)


In the end, hardcore fanboys will eat this movie up. People who remember Final Fantasy for what it stood for probably will think this movie is a cynical money grab by Square-Enix. Casual movie watchers who haven’t played the game: good luck understanding the movie. Luckily, it’s nowhere as horrifing as Spirits Within, but it’s nowhere as catharsic or emotional as a Ghibli venture. I’m in that “can’t shake the feeling that Square made this movie just to print money” group, and I don’t think there’s really any difference from AC than Disney cranking out Cinderrella 2. There’s nothing wrong with it, and, in fact, if you’re a Square-Enix stockholder, it’s a great thing. For us fans of FF7, chocobos, and limit breaks, well, maybe it’s not so great.

After watching AC, I really didn’t feel any different than after watching Matrix Reloaded. Yes, there was plenty of eye candy. Yes, all the characters I loved were back. Yes, it’s still the same franchise. Yet, it was a bit disappointing. I can’t help but think that if I were twelve years younger, like when I first played FF7, I would have enjoyed this movie a lot more… AC was a sequel that came ten years too late.

R.I.P. Aerith, and I hope the next time we see the gang is for Final Fantasy Xtreme Beach Volleyball.

5 Responses to “spikey hair and a huge ass sword”

  1. Wasn’t a cell the way you called people outside the party to switch them into the party?

  2. Yeah, the phone was known as the PHS.. I watched AC yesterday, and personally I found it to be great! Yet I am a hardcore ff fanboy… so i just loved seeing Sephy all CG’d up. I thought the storyline was good, yet brief, and I agree that there was a lack of more ’emotional’ scenes. Excellent action scenes, the are perfect for fans of Final Fantasy and the Matrix. I wouldn’t reccomend this film to ff-haters or anyone who doesnt know the story of FFVII. Overall, I feel the film was good, and it had a storyline that was fun and pretty easy to follow. Sorry… I’m not supposed to be the reviewer… :)

  3. I personally liked AC a lot, and after watching Last Order as well a lot of the backstory has filled out considerably.

    A little point, the limit brakes were in there, whenever Cloud’s sword starts glowing blue; Cloud uses blade beam against Loz (the short haired one) in the sleeping forest, he uses Braver and Climhazzard against Bahamut SIN, Finishing Touch against Kadaj (Not Radaj) and Omnislash V5 against Sephiroth.

  4. yeah love the film advent children love their new outfits as well though i wish they make one when cloud and tifa be together.

  5. I thought Advent children was great. I am a huge FF7 fan and easily the coolest part was seeing Sephiroth in action his duel with Cloud was great just what I had always wanted to see. The new Advent One Winged Angel is really cool too.
    Clouds Limit breaks were all really nicely done. The storyline although short was still interesting enough to keep you watching. I only wish they would have had more scenes with the rest of the guys fighting. All in all Advent Children was a cool movie.

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