Tetsuya Nomura | 101 mins | DVD | PG / PG-13
For those who don’t know, this isn’t the seventh Final Fantasy film — it’s the second; though it’s not a sequel to the first; though it is a sequel, to the game Final Fantasy VII… which isn’t related to the preceding six. Just to be confusing, eh?
Advent Children is far from standalone then, but with the help of a DVD featurette and some concentration it’s possible to have an idea what’s going on. It almost doesn’t matter anyway: the main point is clearly the action, which is pretty spectacular. If you can bear the dense, plot-heavy first half (which does also contain several good sequences), the second is non-stop action, only occasionally marred by overactive camerawork. From a technical standpoint the CG is endlessly impressive (don’t expect it to be lifelike, just extremely good) and the freedom afforded by the format is well used.
I don’t know how satisfying fans would find this (I’m sure they’ve all seen it by now anyway), but for us lay-people, if you can ignore the plot (or put in some effort to follow it) and enjoy impressively executed fights and chases, there’s definite enjoyment to be had.