Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children (2004) Movie Review

Guest Movie Review by Alex Lui For followers of the Final Fantasy games, “Advent Children” comes as a reward for those long hours spent in front of the TV pushing buttons and ignoring a social life. For everyone else, this is pure eye candy, especially since the film has a story continued from the game, with no background setup whatsoever for anyone not already familiar with the movie’s world. Since I have never played a “Final Fantasy” game, the only question running through my mind after the movie finished was, “Uh…what just happened?”

The plot of “Advent Children” takes place two years after the events of “Final Fantasy VII”, wherein a disease called ‘Seikon-Shoukougun’, or ‘Geostigma’, believed to have been caused by the body fighting off foreign material from two years earlier, is becoming a pandemic, and has affected many orphans. An ex-soldier named Cloud Strife (Takahiro Sakurai) has also been afflicted with the disease, resulting in his decision to live a secluded, solitary life away from many of his friends, although he does continue to work at “Strife’s Delivery Service”, located in Tifa Lockheart’s bar, the Seventh Heaven.

Tifa (Ayumi Ito) is Cloud’s love interest, and tries to understand Cloud’s guilt-ridden behaviour while at the same time operating a bar that also serves as an orphanage for children stricken with the Geostigma. She also keeps an eye on Barret’s six-year-old daughter, Marlene (Tsuduruhara Miyuu), while Barret searches the planet for an alternative energy source to the fossil fuel Mako. After a confusing battle with some gang members claiming to be looking for their “mother”, Cloud receives a phone call from the former Shinra, Inc. president Rufus (Toru Ôkawa), asking him for protection from a mysterious man named Kadaj (Shotaro Morikubo). Kadaj and brothers Loz (Kenji Nomura) and Yazoo (Yûji Kishi) are the ones searching for their “mother”, believing that Cloud knows where to find her.

If the plot sounds complicated, that’s because it is. And I haven’t even mentioned a talking dog, a magic “lifestream”, and some psycho orphans yet. However, the fault does not lie with director Tetsuya Nomura, who shows a deft hand at capturing the battles by not opting for frenetic camera movements and quick-cuts as a matter of course. The film’s highlight is an action scene between Tifa and one of the brothers, even if the scene in question has camera techniques borrowed from “The Matrix” movies. Then again, who hasn’t borrowed from “The Matrix”? The blame for the film’s ultimate failure goes to screenwriter Kazushige Nojima, who elects to alienate everyone but the core Final Fantasy fans by simply refusing to provide proper exposition for anyone not already familiar with the movie’s history.

On the plus side, “Advent Children” is the product of Square Company, who has been responsible for most of the Final Fantasy games, and has a knack for creating sumptuous visuals. In the case of “Advent Children”, Square has succeeded once again. The futuristic planets in the film are marvelous to look at, and the vehicle designs very interesting, including a motorcycle that looks like a pod-racer from “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.”

When reviewing “Advent Children”, it is impossible not to mention two other movies, the Japanese sci-fi action film “Casshern” and the CGI movie “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within”. Although those two movies are very much derivative and unoriginal themselves, they at least had something “Advent Children” didn’t, which were storylines beyond the games. And besides a script that actually bothered to explain itself, they also had great popcorn value. “Final Fantasy: Advent Children” doesn’t even have those things, mainly because trying to understand the plot means giving the movie a certain level of thought and attention. However, with characters that are hard to care about and a story that seems tailored for fans only, what’s the incentive for non-fans to spend the effort to understand it?

So yes, “Final Fantasy: Advent Children” is great to look at, and has some of the best CGI action scenes you’re liable to see all year. Unfortunately, that’s about all the movie has going for it. Which is a shame, considering the time, money and effort spent on the production values, which at this moment is the only thing about the film worth paying attention to.

Tetsuya Nomura, Takeshi Nozue (director) / Kazushige Nojima (screenplay)
CAST: Takahiro Sakurai …. Cloud Strife (voice)
Maaya Sakamoto …. Aeris (voice)
Ayumi Ito …. Tifa Lockheart (voice)
Tsuduruhara Miyuu …. Marlene (voice)
Keiji Fujiwara …. Reno (voice)
Kyosuke Ikeda …. Denzel (voice)
Yumi Kakazu …. Yuffie Kisaragi (voice)
Yûji Kishi …. Yazoo (voice)


Buy Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children on DVD



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  • kare

    I enjoyed the movie, even though I don’t play the game, I loved the cgi used in it and I loved the characters, I like characters that have depth. I would however, like them to do a movie that actually goes back to the start of that story, which I believe would encompass the war, it would help to better understand the characters and give us a bit more background, and last but not least, give an excuse to the creators to flex their cgi muscles and see what happens. And give them a reason to make another outstanding movie

    • Flora

      Okay just to tell you, is that they already have the first part of the story done, because the hit playstation game Final Fantasy VII was the whole reason that this was made. If you want to know the whole pie about this story play the 1997 game (which is really hard to find TT_TT HOPEFULLY THEY WILL MAKE A REMAKE!!!!) After playing that the STORY MAKES SOO MUCH MORE SENSE. @_@ I fell in love with the story right after watching this movie, and started playing the game and hoping to get Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerebus where you play as Vincent (the man in the red torn cape, luvs him soo much “KYA KYA! XD”) So for you and the author of this critic, I loved the movie even thuogh I didn’t even play the game at first and now I am almost done with the original game and ITS 100x better than before. LUVS FINAL FANTASY VII!!!! Sephiroth is the main evilist gut that you will ever encounter, play the game and you’ll understand.

    • Flora

      Okay just to tell you, is that they already have the first part of the story done, because the hit playstation game Final Fantasy VII was the whole reason that this was made. If you want to know the whole pie about this story play the 1997 game (which is really hard to find TT_TT HOPEFULLY THEY WILL MAKE A REMAKE!!!!) After playing that the STORY MAKES SOO MUCH MORE SENSE. @_@ I fell in love with the story right after watching this movie, and started playing the game and hoping to get Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerebus where you play as Vincent (the man in the red torn cape, luvs him soo much “KYA KYA! XD”) So for you and the author of this critic, I loved the movie even thuogh I didn’t even play the game at first and now I am almost done with the original game and ITS 100x better than before. LUVS FINAL FANTASY VII!!!! Sephiroth is the main evilist gut that you will ever encounter, play the game and you’ll understand.

  • kare

    I enjoyed the movie, even though I don’t play the game, I loved the cgi used in it and I loved the characters, I like characters that have depth. I would however, like them to do a movie that actually goes back to the start of that story, which I believe would encompass the war, it would help to better understand the characters and give us a bit more background, and last but not least, give an excuse to the creators to flex their cgi muscles and see what happens. And give them a reason to make another outstanding movie

  • kare

    I enjoyed the movie, even though I don’t play the game, I loved the cgi used in it and I loved the characters, I like characters that have depth. I would however, like them to do a movie that actually goes back to the start of that story, which I believe would encompass the war, it would help to better understand the characters and give us a bit more background, and last but not least, give an excuse to the creators to flex their cgi muscles and see what happens. And give them a reason to make another outstanding movie

    • Flora

      Okay just to tell you, is that they already have the first part of the story done, because the hit playstation game Final Fantasy VII was the whole reason that this was made. If you want to know the whole pie about this story play the 1997 game (which is really hard to find TT_TT HOPEFULLY THEY WILL MAKE A REMAKE!!!!) After playing that the STORY MAKES SOO MUCH MORE SENSE. @_@ I fell in love with the story right after watching this movie, and started playing the game and hoping to get Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerebus where you play as Vincent (the man in the red torn cape, luvs him soo much “KYA KYA! XD”) So for you and the author of this critic, I loved the movie even thuogh I didn’t even play the game at first and now I am almost done with the original game and ITS 100x better than before. LUVS FINAL FANTASY VII!!!! Sephiroth is the main evilist gut that you will ever encounter, play the game and you’ll understand.

  • Foxx

    it’s an excellent film and if you look at it in a different way, it has a narrative of it’s own (hence Kadaj and the gang). plus if you have the DVD, the back story is available from the main menu. i do agree that the backstory wasn’t all that clear but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a story all together – besides i havn’t played the game but i knew what was going on!. it’s quite an enjoyable film and doesn’t deserve the slating you give it.

  • Foxx

    it’s an excellent film and if you look at it in a different way, it has a narrative of it’s own (hence Kadaj and the gang). plus if you have the DVD, the back story is available from the main menu. i do agree that the backstory wasn’t all that clear but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a story all together – besides i havn’t played the game but i knew what was going on!. it’s quite an enjoyable film and doesn’t deserve the slating you give it.

  • Foxx

    it’s an excellent film and if you look at it in a different way, it has a narrative of it’s own (hence Kadaj and the gang). plus if you have the DVD, the back story is available from the main menu. i do agree that the backstory wasn’t all that clear but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a story all together – besides i havn’t played the game but i knew what was going on!. it’s quite an enjoyable film and doesn’t deserve the slating you give it.

  • Kye Salkeld

    you are a wanker you dont have a clue what you are talking about

  • Kye Salkeld

    you are a wanker you dont have a clue what you are talking about

  • Kye Salkeld

    you are a wanker you dont have a clue what you are talking about

  • Shadow

    I’m afraid to say that has someone that has only played parts of FF:VII this film made massive amounts of sence but you have to look deeper into the story then you seemed to of been willing to do.

    Like so many people you seemed to have thourght. Ok I havn’t played the game so I will wait till the first fight that I must admit is good but that’s as far as I will go.

    If you think the fight between Loz and Tifa was good what did you think of Seph’s return and the fight between him and Cloud…