Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Review

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is a 2005 Japanese computer-animated science fantasy film directed by Tetsuya Nomura, based on the 1997 video game Final Fantasy VII.  The story takes place two years after events of Final Fantasy VII, focusing on Cloud Strife and his comrades who must stop a mysterious trio from resurrecting the villain Sephiroth.


Positives:

  • Great characters
  • Terrific action
  • Phenomenal cgi effects
  • Terrific soundtrack
  • Compelling story
  • Great cinematography
  • Great voice performances

Negatives:

  • n/a

Plot:  The story is fast paced but does take the time to focus on the small moments between characters.  The story does gradually reveal itself over the course of the film though most characters who haven’t played the game probably won’t be as engaged in the story as those who’ve followed the lore.  It does successfully tie in story of the game so that it does feel like a continuation. Cloud’s personal journey does serve as a good subplot, adding a compelling emotional element. (3 out of 5)

Characters: Despite the film mainly following the personal journey of Cloud, it does expand to follow various other characters.  Cloud is hands down one of the best and most standout characters.  This is not because he fights several battles but because of his developing arc and how he overcomes his personal demons.  Tifa is great, and shows herself to be a strong female.  There is definitely good chemistry between the two.  Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo are pretty good antagonist.  Despite how prevalent these characters are it does seem like Yazoo is the weakest link as he doesn’t standout as much as the other two.  Sephiroth is definitely the scene stealer of the film.  Despite how awesome Cloud is, Sephiroth is just beast.  He’s strong, he’s menacing, he’s cruel.  Every moment from his intro to his defeat just feels powerful.  There are other characters such as Cloud and Tifa’s comrades but they do suffer from a lack of screentime which could’ve made them standout more. (4 out of 5)

Cast:  The voice performances are just amazing.  The English cast includes Steve Burton, Rachel Leigh Cook, Mena Suvari, Steve Staley, Fred Tatasciore, Dave Wittenberg, George Newbern, Christy Carlson Romano, Beau Billingslea, Quinton Flynn, Crispin Freeman, and Wally Wingert.  The Japanese cast includes Takahiro Sakurai, Ayumi Ito, Maaya Sakamoto, Shogo Suzuki, Shotaro Morikubo, Kenji Nomura, Yuji Kishi, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Yumi Kakazu, Masahiro Kobayashi, Keiji Fujiwara, and Taiten Kusunoki. (4 out of 5)

Visuals:   The visual effects are near life-like and the level of detail is to be commended.  The way the film is shot, the camera angles, the way characters move, and the fast pacing of the action sequences just give a brilliant experience to behold.  The overall design of the world does look grimy especially considering the setting.  Definite thumbs up to Yasuharu Yoshizawa for his cinematography.  The action in this film and how it is shot is flawlessly executed. (5 out of 5)

Score:  Memorable and it’s freaking phenomenal.  Many of the popular music from the video game have made their way into the film as remixes that give depth to the film.  Nobuo Uematsu has once again outdone himself with the music.  The most memorable song being the One Winged Angel remix that just elevates Cloud and Sephiroth’s fight sequence.  The voice performances are just terrific and well cast. (5 out of 5)

Writing:  Nomura’s direction is what makes this film.  The script does manage to bring a lot of elements together to not only tell a story but to build upon great characters.  The pacing is good and the incorporation of humor, action, and emotion into the storytelling is done well.  The editing (especially during the action sequences) is utilized perfectly (especially when it comes to the cinematography). (4 out of 5)


The Verdict: In the end, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is definitely a great film and will definitely appeal to fans of the lore.  Despite some of the characters not having as much screentime as they should’ve the film does feature great, memorable characters, great voice performances, terrific action, great cinematography, great story, phenomenal visuals, and a killer soundtrack. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children gets 4 out of 5.

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