Final Fantasy the Movie (movie review)
Also Known As:
Fainaru fantaji (2001) (Japan)
Final Fantasy (2001) (USA: working title)
Final Fantasy: The Movie (2000) (USA: working title)
Gaia: Final Fantasy (2001) (USA: original script title)
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence.
Country: Japan / USA
Color: Color (DeLuxe) Sound Mix: DTS / Dolby Digital / SDDS
This movie isn't a paramount to the 7th art but it certainly broke some new ground. I expected a lot in the animation department and I was pleased with what I saw. Being based on a video game prepped me for a rather unconventional and perhaps lame plot.
Firstly, the animation: the use of realistic CG characters by this movie is good, most of the movement of the animated people was very good except for a bit of problems with speaking and expressions, you can also tell that the animators learned how to make the characters walk as they made the movie, the walk during the first 20 minutes (especially at the beginning) is noticeably stiff. It gets better as the movie wears on though. The detail level of vehicles and scenery is superb, you can even see dust falling as the light streams in a window, this gives you an idea of how detailed it can be.
Second: story line, not too original, while not the best sci fi out there by a long shot, it still has a decent if somewhat complex story line which is hard to follow at times. It borrows heavily from typical anime plots (with the biblical and mythological references, the mystic stuff and so on) however what else can you expect. The ending is typical of anime so it seems that the animators and writers themselves still regarded this as animation and weren't trying to make it a true movie. It also borrows from well tried elements like the military commander bent of the use of force over logic, but as an animation it sure eats up disney's childish plots.
Summing up, this movie is worth watching for the animation, a second watching will also probably clear up some things in the plot, it gives a good idea as to what to expect from future animation and sets a new standard. I came out of the theater with a sensation of money well spent and I'll probably watch it again, not my favorite of all time but certainly decent. After I spend my money on the DVD, I was quiete satisfied with my last buy.