Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Ceri Young · From fps #8 · June 28, 2006 | The official DVD release of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, originally slated for a September 2005 release, finally arrived in stores in April 2006. The movie has been much anticipated by fans, but has it been worth the wait?

Though the movie bears the Final Fantasy name, it's unrelated to the earlier film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Instead, Advent Children is a continuation of the video game, Final Fantasy VII, originally released in 1997.

The story in Advent Children begins two years after the apocalypse that ended Final Fantasy VII. The city of Midgar is in ruins, and its residents are victim to a plague known as geostigma. Cloud Strife, the hero of the original video game, is still trying to put the past behind him: to accept that his enemy Sephiroth is really and truly gone, and to come to grips with Aeris's death, so he can build a new life with Tifa. When the former head of the evil corporation Shinra asks him to do some security work, Cloud declines, but he soon finds himself wrapped up in a plot involving Shinra, three white-haired assassins (with a distinct resemblance to Sephiroth), and the children with geostigma—Cloud's adopted son among them.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Directed by Tetsuya Nomura and Takeshi Nozue
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2006
Originally released theatrically in Japan in 2005
101 minutes

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The movie is not for the faint-hearted. For those who haven't played Final Fantasy VII, the film offers only the briefest of introductions—a four- or five-sentence voiceover at the beginning of the movie that barely explains anything. The DVD does contain a special "story digest" feature, which chains together scenes from the video game to give an overall idea of where the plot begins. Neither of these is enough for someone with no understanding of the game, or for those with foggy recollections of a game they played nearly ten years ago. The movie is aimed at those who loved the original game: everyone else is forced to play catch-up. It's unfortunate and aggravating, as it makes the beginning of the movie difficult to follow, and the plot seem more complicated than it is. It also isn't likely to interest anyone who hasn't played a Final Fantasy game in picking one up, and that's a shame.

Want to read the rest of this review?

You'll find it and many other articles in the June 2006 issue of fps, available for only $1.49 US.
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