I keep in mind when Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children got here out 11 years in the past. My associates and I had been following its improvement on-line for what appeared like eternally, stalking fan boards and scouring for any grainy stills uploaded from Famitsu. Since we completely could not wait any longer, we downloaded an terrible high quality Japanese rip of the movie together with a fan sub that was solely barely coherent. These have been characters we would wished to see in motion once more since we have been youngsters, and coming from it at that angle, even with our horrible bootleg copy, it did not disappoint. Advent Children shouldn’t be a good movie, I do know this, but for all of the significant stuff it labored to undo from the sport and for all of the terrible characters it launched, I used to be simply excited to see Tifa be a full babe whereas being thrown by the leg round a ruined church. That struggle with Bahamut Sin was all I would actually wished from the movie’s complete 101 minute working time.
Advent Children demanded that you just care concerning the characters and the world to be invested within the nonsense of the movie, so it is a daring transfer by Square to try the identical trick in reverse, basically releasing Final Fantasy 15’s opening cutscene as a standalone movie a number of months earlier than gamers shall be in a position to immerse themselves in its world. But, for probably the most half, it really works. It would not give attention to the sport’s protagonist Noct, but takes place roughly across the identical time as the beginning of the sport, depicting the actions that set the sport’s major plot in movement with a prolonged flashback offering context to the continued political machinations.
Simply put, there are two warring nations, the technologically superior unhealthy guys Niflheim, and the good guys of Lucius, dominated over by Noct’s dad, King Regis. Niflheim has taken over just about the complete world bar Insomnia, the capital metropolis of Lucis, which is protected by a magical crystal that provides King Regis and his elite protectors, the Kingsglaive, magical powers. Niflheim actually desires that crystal, mainly. Focusing on Nyx Ulric, a refugee and a member of the Kingsglaive, the movie takes place virtually totally inside Insomnia as Lucis and Niflheim come shut to signing a peace treaty. All that is precisely as waffly because it sounds, but fortunately there are different, smaller conflicts inside the movie which are way more price our time and a focus.
The efficiency seize is out of this world spectacular and the visuals, significantly the struggle scenes, are constantly gorgeous and fantastically choreographed. It’s all the pieces you’d hope a Final Fantasy battle would appear like in real-life, whereas Kingsglaive works nicely as a proof of idea of the broader world of Final Fantasy 15. If you discovered it tough to see how Audis and adverts for Beats by Dr Dre and actual, trendy cityscapes might work facet by facet with magic and big Weapons and impossibly shiny fits of armour, Kingsglaive has all of it sitting facet by facet fairly comfortably.
What would not work so nicely, nevertheless, is the story. It begins with an exposition-heavy flashback and by no means actually stops making an attempt to ham-fistedly cram pointless data into each syllable uttered. At one level, a tertiary character is killed. Despite them having little or no display screen time, I used to be genuinely invested of their dying, as a result of I appreciated what little I would seen of them once they have been alive. Job completed. But no, even after they’d died, the movie thought it was essential to preserve piling on extra exposition about how they have been raised in an orphanage and that’d had ever such a arduous life and oh look is not that unhappy? Kingsglaive would not belief that you just’d be a part of the dots of a plot level or really feel one thing all by your self, so it has to double down and let you know all the pieces outright as nicely, simply to be sure to’ve acquired it. It’s irritating and greater than a little patronising, and it is painfully clear in life or dying moments when characters needs to be springing into motion and as an alternative stand round speaking about how they need to spring into motion for a couple of minutes earlier than really doing something. It’s pointless, particularly now that expertise has reached a level the place their emotions are far more adequately and rapidly conveyed by means of facial expressions and physique language.
Dialogue is the movie’s weakest facet, by far. Actors like Aaron Paul do their greatest with the cumbersome traces they’re given, and as a end result protagonist Nyx is likeable regardless of his mullet and half-baked emotional baggage involving his left-behind household. Lesser characters will not be so fortunate. Many appear fully disconnected from their very own voice – visibly aged members of the royal council communicate like a lot youthful people – but largely they only do not have very good materials to work with. Nyx’s greatest good friend Libertus (apparently the brother of the sport’s Gladiolus) is universally terrible; his traces are poorly learn and his character arc wholly unbelievable – so it is a disgrace Kingsglaive duties him with doing a lot of the emotional heavy-lifting early on. The movie is markedly improved across the second act, when he disappears off-screen for a whereas.
Princess Lunafreya is a whole bore who has completely no company of her personal and simply drones on and on about obligation to her prince and honour to her king and the way she would not care about dying within the slightest as a result of that is how relentlessly boring she is. Much of the movie would have been improved had she been changed with one thing else everybody might struggle over, like a pencil sharpener or a hotdog or an outdated boot. In truth, her position does get usurped by an inanimate object in the long run, and we’re all the higher for not having to have a look at her wan, fully blemish-free face as she will get pulled in a number of instructions by actually everybody round her. I am not stunned that Square has fallen again on the outdated damsel in misery trope, but stunned at simply how arduous they depend on it right here, with a full-grown girl who has all of the self-preservation expertise of a toddler. King Regis is equally one-note in his obsession with obligation and household and searching sufficiently weary, but he not less than will get a couple of cool struggle scenes out of all of it. I am undecided he all the time comes off as likeable and beneficent because the movie intends him to, but that not less than helps preserve issues attention-grabbing and above all, relatable.
And it is when Kingsglaive remembers to be relatable – when it is not simply throwing a struggle scene at you – that it actually works. It would not enable itself the posh typically, but when it strikes away from the gleaming palaces, fairly as they’re, and into the Midgar-like slums, that is after we see a glimpse of the camaraderie that made outdated Final Fantasy events come to life. Speaking of older Final Fantasies, there are a shocking quantity of callbacks to them right here, really, together with some main setpiece summons and monsters that long-time followers will recognise immediately, even when they have been given a little bit of a facelift. There are different pleasing nods right here and there. From somebody remarking that their kebab tastes like a Chocobo turd, to a Marlboro keyring, and to what appears suspiciously like dried cactuars hanging in a vendor’s quick meals shack, the movie would not get mired in nostalgia, but it would not neglect its roots both.
I am making an attempt to pin down why precisely I loved Kingsglaive, even if there’s a lot of it that is bloated and badly completed. I believe it is as a result of, no matter else you may say about it, it seems like Final Fantasy – fantastical battles,excessive exposition and overly severe heroes and princesses included. And as a two-hour piece of promotional materials for a recreation, it really works. I am extra excited for Final Fantasy 15 now than I used to be earlier than, albeit with some recent considerations about how characters like Lunafreya will come throughout. I simply hope Noct and co. keep in mind to crack a smile each once in a while.