I already reviewed many "Cyberpunk Video Game Movies" on the site and many Cyberpunk Animes, so I thought I should review this one, too. I waited a little bit with reviewing this, but after I told Mr. Roboto that if he wants to put another review from me on the main page, he should concentrate on 2 other reviews from me at first, I thought I could post this review. (Mr.Roboto didn't answer my PM, but I hope he agreed. )
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Directed by: Tetsuya Nomura, Takeshi Nozue
Written by: Kazushige Nojima
Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Very Low
Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Medium
Rating: 5 out of 10
Advent Children is a continuation of the game Final Fantasy 7 in form of a CGI Anime and part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy 7. It’s a continuation of the story of the game.
After the incidents of Final Fantasy 7, Midgar was abandoned and a new city was built
next to Midgar. Cloud Strife became a delivery boy. Someday, a strange fatal disease appeared harming mostly children. Tifa and Cloud wanted to find a way to help the children. One day, 3 strange silver haired men appeared searching for their “mother” Yenova. This suggests that they may be other Yenova clones of the Shinra Megacorp, but this is unknown. Later, Cloud is approached by remnants of Shinra. They tell him about the 3 boys and that also, the 3 persons directly search for him.
the plot surely had potential, regardless of its problems as a continuation of a definitely completed plot (which is always extremely complicated to write, best examples are some continuations of the Babylon 5 TV Series which were rather boring.)
the biggest problem of the story is the status of the 3 Silver Haired Boys. Personally, I think they should have used them as simple Yenovah Clones with no direct relation to Sephiroth. This remnant thing is hardly logical and reminds more on a Fanfiction written by a Sephiroth fanboy than on a million dollar project. I also think this “splitting into 3 parts” is hardly believable. I also think this is one aspect of the movie where the rather “scientific” handling of Mako in Final Fantasy 7 is turned into a highly illogical fantasy element in the movie.
Another problem is how fast Cloud can get to the ancient city. In the game, these locations were on different continents but now, Cloud can travel between the ruin Midgar and the ancient city within hours per motorbike.
For Cyberpunk Fans who want to have heavyweight discussions of Cyberpunk themes, this movie can be a large disappointment. Most Cyberpunk Elements are either used simply as weapons in battle or as a little backdrop to set the battle. There are hardly any discussions about the implications of the Cyberpunk World.
One little exception for this is the Geostigma plot which continues the topic of the original game, if the planet is a living, intelligent entity which is directly hurt by environmental pollution and fights humanity to protect itself. I know some people include the spread of pandemia in the real world to this hypothetical “punishment of humanity”. So, this definitely touches concerns in reality.
the Negative aspects of the movie in terms of plot are more than compensated with graphics. the graphics of the movies are astoundingly realistic. You also often have got many scenes with masses of people were nearly everyone has got a different model and hair.
In general, you can say that this movie is one of the most realistically looking Cyberpunk Anime Movies which were published.
the New Midgar looks extremely amazing. It has still the Junkyard atmosphere of the slums of the old game, but many buildings look more modern. (Personally, I thought the architecture of that area where they meet Rufus is more interesting, but Midgar is also fascinating.) This cross between Junkyard atmosphere, industrial elements and modern construction sites looks very Cyberpunk. (Personally, I think it looks not as cool as the slums of Midgar in the original game, especially Wall Market, but it nevertheless looks really cool.)
the character design of Cloud was updated and I think they really improved it but the new Sephiroth doesn’t look as cool as the Sephiroth of the original Final Fantasy 7. I think the new look of Cloud Strife also fits more with the mercenary part of his history. I also especially love the depiction of Clouds hair. That looks so damn cool. (Although personally, I find it easier to model characters with spiky hairstyles than characters with normal hairstyles. Personally, I might even say that it is even a little bit more complicated to learn how to do a spiky hairstyle in real life than learning how to model a character with a spiky hairstyle because I needed less than a quarter of the time to learn to CGI model such a character than I needed to learn to make my own hair spiked. )
My personal favourite is the character design of Reno. I think he is the coolest looking character from the movie. While I love the new model of Cloud, I think Reno is a much cooler character. (I think it’s also a huge improvement compared to the character artwork of Reno in the game.)
Barrets Gun Implant was also redesigned. On Cyberpunk Review, we had discussions if this implant is Cybernetic or not. With the redesign, this question can definitely be answered with “Yes”. the Implant now looks more fancy and less realist but also very cool.
I don’t really think the successor of the Airplane/Aircraft Highwind is visually as good as the old Highwind. Surely, the new aircraft is much more detailed, but the old Highwind looked rather believable but the new aircraft really looks like “how the heck can that really fly?”. I also think the Highwind looked more modern than that machine from the movie.
the fight scenes in the movie are fast battles with lots of stunts akin to Heroic Bloodshed movies from Hong Kong or Chinese martial art movies. On Cyberpunk Anime, this is best comparable to Appleseed: Ex Machina. Personally, I think the fight choreography is among the best in Cyberpunk movies. (I think it’s comparable to the choreography of the Matrix movies.) Especially the bike chase scene is cool.
Advent Children is an awesome CGI movie with lots of weaknesses in story, so, it’s definitely no cult classic unlike the game, but it’s still an entertaining movie. If the movie wouldn’t have wasted a lot of potential, it could have been one of the best Cyberpunk movies ever. On terms of video game movies, you definitely have to admit that this movie isn’t as terrible as many other movies. (And many other CGI Anime movies also had problems on topic of Storytelling, too.) Because of this, I think it’s not a must see, but it’s also not a terrible failure. So, the best advice for watchers is, watch it but ignore the logic holes of the movie. Then, the movie can be rather entertaining. Especially people who are interested in 3D modeling and Computer graphics will love the movie.
On topic of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, I think the movie ranges in the middle. It’s much better than Dirge of Cerberus but personally, I think it’s not as good as Crisis Core.
In comparison with other CGI Cyberpunk Anime Movies, my favorite CGI Anime is still Applessed: Ex Machina but Advent Children is also very good, too. I think it’s better than some other CGI Anime Movies.