Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Final Fantasy VII : Advent Children

directed by Tetsuya Nomura

Final Fantasy VII : Advent Children poster  
Final Fantasy VII : Advent Children is unusual in that it's not a film of a game, but the story of events afterwards. So if you played Final Fantasy VII through to the end you will have some clue what is going on. If not, then there are some cut scenes on the DVD that will give you the gist of what has happened so far. Ideally though you need to start at the beginning, since this is a sequel.

Two years after Sephiroth's defeat, Cloud Strife is working as a delivery rider. He has taken in a number of orphans, some of whom are sick. A mysterious disease known as geostigma is affecting people, particularly the young.

Out on the road, Cloud is attacked by three grey-haired young men. They are looking for their mother. But far from being lost children, these violent youths have more than a little hint of Sephiroth about them. They will go to any lengths to find this mother. They start abducting children with the geostigma, and they cause havoc when they manage to get their hands on Cloud's materia. Materia is the magic substance that gave everyone their power in the game.

In Final Fantasy VII : Advent Children the world itself is a character, made physical in the form of the Lifestream. A major theme of the series is the way man, in the guise of the unscrupulous Shinra corporation, has plundered the natural environment and is killing it. The Shinra corporation eventually came to see the error of their ways, and in this sequel Rufus Shinra is looking to make amends. Cloud is also looking for forgiveness and redemption, although he seems to have lost all hope of finding these things.

On the surface, however, this is a good-versus-evil romp, with the chance to see all the old characters once again, reimagined in much finer detail. It's a gorgeous movie. Nobuo Uematsu's score verges from the grandiose to the delicate, turning Final Fantasy VII : Advent Children into a feast for the senses. The characters are lifelike, but they move with no regard to the normal rules of physics. This makes for some extremely stylised, yet very entertaining, fight scenes. Characters leap to superhuman heights, keep balance and speed when they should fall, and blatantly disregard the laws of gravity.

All of the crew put in an appearance, even Yuffie and Cait Sith, although if you blink you'll miss some of them. This film is strictly one for the fans of Final Fantasy VII. If you haven't played the game then most of the references will pass you by, and most likely you will wonder what the point of it all is. But seen in the context of part 2 of a series, it works well. Although short, this is an enjoyable return to the themes and characters of the game. Unlike many movies that are made into games, this one actually has a plot, although the villains are as mad as ever. If you loved Final Fantasy VII you will love this.

Film Details

Year: 2006

Categories: Films

  Kids     Fantasy

Classification: PG

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4 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson