Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
A Review of This Sequel to the Influential Role Playing Game
To fully contemplate the complex narrative of Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children requires an understanding of, perhaps, the most influential Role-Playing Game (RPG) ever. Final Fantasy 7 (FF7) was released in 1997 for the PlayStation 1 and changed the RPG platform forever. It was the first RPG to truly find acceptance outside of Japan and has, to this date, sold more then 9.5 million copies worldwide.
Gamers became fully intertwined with the epic mode of storytelling the game presented. The characters were rich with flavor and depth and the fantasy aspect of the game was momentous and awe-inspiring. The game was a challenging feat but rewarding nonetheless.
Presently, there are many spin-offs out on the market which are furthering the rich history and legacy of FF7. There has even been a rumored remake for the PlayStation 3 but, as of now, this has yet to be confirmed. The closest the world has ever come to reliving the magic of the original was initially conceived as a game itself. However, as a result of far too many foreseeable problems (in terms of narrative and plot) led developers to instead turn the game idea into a movie. As a result, Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children (a sequel) was born.
Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children Plot
A sequel is typically an exploitation film. Created and released to cash in on a financial success of some sort, the sequel is usually a form that fails to live up to the monumental success of the original. The plot is usually paper thin and the characters are extremely transparent and boring.
However, Advent Children is different. It is not a typical sequel in the fact that the original was in the form of a video game. Thus, a great amount of pressure was presented to the creators to ensure that they would be able to live up to the high standards set by the game.
Advent Children takes place two years after the original game has ended. The world is in a catastrophic state as the result of the violence and bloodshed that has resulted from the battle to save the planet (which occurred throughout the game).
The hero from the first story, Cloud Strife, is now a loner. Although he runs his own delivery business, with the help of his friend, Tifa Lockheart, he remains an isolated figure. That is, until he is pulled back into the mysteries that fuelled the original Final Fantasy 7 game.
On a delivery mission out in the desert, Cloud is attacked by three motorcyclists who are intent on believing that he knows something about their “mother”. After escaping, Cloud seeks answers to the identities of these three men and the meaning of “mother” from ex-Shinra boss, Rufus (who was a key character from the game).
As the enigmatic moments escalate for Cloud, he soon realizes that his past has once again caught up with him. He cannot escape it and thus must learn to rely on his friends to aid him in this battle that may result in the reincarnation of Sephiroth (the villain from the game) and the end of the planet.
Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children Review
This film is a visual feast for the eyes as a result of its animation. It is truly a wonder to behold. The obsession with detail is extraordinary in the fact that a sense of realism begins to sift through the cracks of its animated façade. The fact that the characters hair moves with the wind truly details the tremendous lengths these filmmakers went to in order to present a worthy follow up to the influential game.
There has been some criticism to this film however. Many have pointed to the fact that this film focuses more on action then it does on character development. This is true. There is a tremendous amount of action in the film and at times, the film more resembles the game Tekken or Mortal Kombat then it does a typical RPG. The fact that the fighting can occur in the sky and that the characters can perform supernatural flips and jumps allows for this film to resemble a reality that is not governed by gravitational limitations.
Some critics are quick to note these ideas but they must understand that film is a visual medium. It exists outside of an interactive setting. One must sit and watch events unfold which is the complete opposite of a game. Games are defined by their interactivity. One controls the events and progresses at their own leisure and pace. Film does not have this luxury. They only have a specified time setting to tell their story. Whereas Final Fantasy 7, the game, took over 50 hours to complete, the film only has two hours. The film must tell a story but as well entertain. Thus, critics are wrong to judge these two mediums as identical because, in reality, they are not.
The film is a wonderful representation of what computers and animation are capable of. Though the film is action packed, it is still a relevant story for this time and age. The fact that greedy industrial companies are destroying the planet and have thus puts its future in jeopardy truly mirrors this world’s reality and how it is attempting to survive the attacks perpetrated by careless and senseless individuals.
The film is a wonderfully majestic experience and fans of animation and gaming should check it out. Even if one could care less about the nature of this story, it is still a magnificent event to behold and should be experienced by all who are intrigued with the idea of technological advancement.