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An ex-mercenary is forced out of isolation when three mysterious men kidnap and brainwash the city's children afflicted with the Geostigma disease.
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The 'Final Fantasy' games are the most popular role playing games ever made and that is not an under statement, with over twenty games and spin off's, it was inevitable that films were soon to follow. This isn't the first 'Final Fantasy' film however, with 'Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within' being released in 2001 and a few anime features before hand, people were disappointed with the first major release of a 'Final Fantasy' film, as it left out all of the elements that made the plots of the games so enticing. So when 'Square-Enix' announced that they were making a feature film of the most popular 'Final Fantasy' people were literally jumping for joy, with good reason too.
'Final Fantasy VII' is with out a doubt the most popular 'Final Fantasy', it follows the story of Cloud, an ex-SOLDIER, who sets out to stop Sephiroth destroying the planet, the story is more complex but I can't say much with out spoiling it. Many fans of the series see this game as the pinnacle of excellence and the film follows suit. The film again follows Cloud as he attempts to stop the remnants of Sephiroth from once again destroying the world and also trying to cure a strange disease known as Geostigma.
'Square-Enix' know what they are doing when it comes to visuals and the entire film plays like a highly polished cut scene from the games, which is precisely why this film looks so damn good. Even animation studios like 'Pixar' and 'Dreamworks' haven't quite achieved this standard of graphical genius yet, (don't get me wrong WALL-E and Ratatouille were beautiful films), but the characters look so realistic, you can't believe other studios can't get this quality yet, when you take into account that 'Advent Children' has been out for four years and I have yet to see a CGI character as realistic as they are in this movie, then that's really a very impressive standard of animation indeed.
I have seen both the Japanese and English versions and both casts are great, but as most people will watch the English dub, I'll be reviewing the English version. The first thing people wanted to know was 'Who'll be playing Cloud?' and people were curious as to what he would sound like and the casting crew had to be careful, as this is an extremely popular character. But they made a great choice of choosing Steve Burton to play Cloud, he does a good job of getting Clouds troubled personality just right and the fans were pleased. However the two real scene stealer's and stars of the show are the previous bad guys the Turks, Reno ( Quinton Flynn) and Rude ( Crispin Freeman ), the characters are well played, they react together well and they are perfectly cast as they steal any scene they are in and have some of the best moments in the film. The majority of the film is well cast with very few exceptions and the cast really bring some new aspects to characters we never had chance to hear before.
The soundtrack is a remixed version of all the original 'Final Fantasy VII' songs, livened up to match the films glossy feel, rewritten and composed by 'The Black Mages', which includes the series' veteran composer Nobuo Uematsu, the music had a new feel to it, but was also a bit nostalgic for those who had previously played the game. The one song that's going to stick out for FFVII fans is 'One Winged Angel', during the fight with Sephiroth, a new version of this song plays and gives that little bit extra to the fight scene. At some points it is worth watching this film for the soundtrack alone.
There are so many different points I could mention in this review to show how stunning this film is, but rather then go on about it, instead I'll just say go and watch it, it is a fantastic film. Even if you didn't like the games this film should be watched even if it is just to see the eye melting CGI. However if you are a 'Final Fantasy' fan and for some reason you haven't watched this yet, go and watch it now it is compelling viewing for anyone.