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 lard pirates dawt cawm  §  Final Fantasy VII: Advent [s]Children[/s] Cash-in in a Nutshell / by Spoony Spoonicus
 the waggoner  §  articles and general riff-raff exceeding your expectations of worthlessness.
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 ~Spoony Spoonicus on 04:21pm 05/06/12 (02:46pm 02/26/10) in 2h7m39s  §  6347 eyeballs
 chained to: Anime in a Nutshell  §  first - previous - next - latest
 Most anime, despite all you've been lead to believe, really really sucks.
after 1 bombings: 
 anchors: none.
Sakaguchi's departure and Final Fantasy X-2's subsequent release (and inexplicable commercial success) got the ball rolling on Square's campaign to churn out endless waves of terrible spinoffs, sequels, prequels and remakes to games that stood up perfectly well on their own merits. Thanks guys!

But hey, I do give the director some credit - he was nice enough to adapt his eleven-year-old son's fan fiction into the screenplay into the screenplay for this movie!

The setting is a city named "Edge" on the outskirts of Midgar, where Cloud and Tifa apparently now live. Whey they choose to live in a depressing barren landscape next to the burned out ruins of a giant slum instead of somewhere nice is a mystery to me; guess Cloud's just stuck in his emo phase again. There's also a sub-plot about a disease named "Geostigma" that doesn't really go anywhere or have any bearing on the overall plot.

Kadaj, Loz, Yazoo: We are throwaway villains, beware our blandness! We must fight for no reason.

Cloud engages in a long, flashy battle with the three dorks using the most impractical weapon in the entirety of the series thus far - a buster sword that splits into seven smaller buster swords. Yes, I'm serious. Nevermind that he cannot possibly wield more than two of them at any given time, or that no explanation is ever given as to why he discarded his old weapon and started using this one instead. After a while the Throwaways get bored and leave abruptly.

Turks: Why did Square bring us back, anyway? Nobody gave a shit about us in the original game. Hell, we all but admit in our first scene of dialog that we're just there to pad out the game with more boss fights.
Cloud: What do you want?
Turks: Our boss has an offer for you.
Cloud: Rufus? He's dead!
Turks: Think again.

They go to meet Rufus

Cloud: So, a character with no combat training and no physical enhancement from the Jenova project whatsoever somehow survived being shot right in the face by Diamond Weapon with a giant beam of pure energy that also caused your entire office building to collapse right on top of you.
Rufus: And all I got away with was a broken arm.
Cloud: Great, we're not even fifteen minutes into this movie and the plot is total bullshit already.
Rufus: And it's only going to get worse because when Square writes themselves into one corner, they have some obsessive compulsion to write themselves into the other three as well! I need your help to stop the Throwaways.
Cloud: Screw you, man.

Elsewhere, the Throwaways advance on Aerith's church, where Tifa and Marlene are. Why? Because it's a cheap excuse to show off some pretty CGI flowers, of course!

Loz: We are looking for the head of Jenova, give it to us!
Tifa: Why the hell would we have something like that? We spent the entirety of Final Fantasy VII trying to KILL Jenova, remember?
Loz: You haven't caught on yet? We just wander around and start fights to try and push the movie forward in spite of an absence of any real character or motivation.
Tifa: Ah. Just like Seifer, Seymour and the Turkeys.

Another fight ensues, Tifa loses. Loz kidnaps Marlene (WHY? WHAT DOES SHE HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?!) and vanishes again.

Cloud sets off to try and rescue Marlene, but finds himself overwhelmed by the Throwaways (again) and has to get rescued by Vincent - ANOTHER lame, underdeveloped character that nobody cared about! Except for the goth crowd. Maybe.

Vincent: They're trying to revive Sephiroth, Cloud.
Cloud: Really, Square? You'd stoop that low just to push this crappy film? Bringing back the dead is the absolute worst form of lazy writing, especially when we've already firmly established in series canon that that's impossible. Don't you think we would have resurrected Aerith - the only person capable of summoning Holy and stopping the world-destroying Meteor spell - if it weren't?!
Vincent: Well, my contractually obligated three minutes are up, I'm getting out of this film.

The throwaways summon a bunch of monsters to attack Midgar, which is yet another lazy vehicle to pad the movie out with eye-candy fight scenes and give the rest of the cast their requisite three minutes of screen time. Yes, that's right - the heavily touted "return to the universe of Final Fantasy VII" doesn't even give 95% of the cast more than a pittance when it comes to involvement in the plot.

Cait Sith: I got the worst of it; they didn't even give me my fucking Moogle, so I can't even do anything useful! I just ride on Red's back the whole movie and jabber out unfunny one-liners!

The fights continue.

Rufus: Oh hey, guys, that "Head of Jenova" Macguffin you've spent the whole film looking for? I got it!

He drops it off the side of the building, which is the stupidest idea since we've already seen that every character in this movie is a super-powered anime hero and that gravity, terminal velocity and non-mortal physical injuries basically mean nothing to them. Kadaj scoops it up and runs away.

Cloud: Ugh, you FUCKING IDIOT. Why did you not just DESTROY that thing? Did you completely forget that Jenova nearly brought the entire planet to ruin TWICE already?
Rufus: The same reason that you, despite knowing that I was alive and effectively powerless to stop you, didn't kill me - so we can get roped into even more shitty sequels in the future!
Cloud: God damn it.

Another running battle ensues, which Cloud actually wins this time despite losing badly to them just minutes ago. In desperation Kadaj absorbs Jenova's head, which inexplicably turns him into Sephrioth. Oooooh!

Sephiroth: It was I who created the Geostigma disease from Jenova's cells, and once the people infected with it die and return to the lifestream I will have control over the planet and use it as my vehicle to conquer the universe!
Cloud: .....Okay. First of all, you're supposed to be DEAD AND GONE, as I've already killed you twice. Second, that plan makes no sense; planets don't move under their own power, they're being moved around by the gravitational force of the sun. And finally... why are you so fucking ugly in this movie? You look like a coked-out raver in clown makeup, man.

None of these get answered to any satisfactory degree (of course), so they just resort to another lazy fight scene, which Cloud easily wins by using his seven-piece sword's Limit Break on him. No, I'm not kidding.

Sephiroth: Gasp! Who would have thought that the same thing that killed me last time would work again?!
Cloud: Even the main villain, which the entire movie was hyped around the return of and my epic final battle with, didn't manage to get more than five minutes of screen time. Nice going, Square.

Aerith and Zack's Jedi Ghosts: Cloud, you will go to the Dagobah system.
Cloud: Wha...?
Aerith and Zack's Jedi Ghosts: Just kidding. We're just here to make our obligatory cameo, heal your injuries, kill the other two Throwaways, and wipe out the whole Geostigma problem in one gigantic Deus ex Machina.
Cloud: I'd get into a rant about how sloppy this conclusion is, but I'm just glad that we're quitting while we're behind.
Tifa: Until the next sequel, of course.
Cloud: Of course.

Spoony: This movie is awful. The character and weapon designs are beyond gaudy, most of the characters are barely even acknowledged, the voice acting is dreadful, the story is a confused mess and there are more plot holes and continuity issues than a bad fanfic. But most of all, it's a completely unnecessary sequel - it doesn't expand the universe of Final Fantasy VII in any significant way, it tells us nothing about the characters that we didn't already know, and it certainly doesn't add any closure to the story. If anything, it subtracts any feelling of closure the series may have had - now that we know Square is willing to retcon major character deaths away whenever they want a few more digits on their bank account, who's to say they won't bring Sephrioth back a second time? Or a third? Or fourth?

The only thing that makes this whole mess tolerable are the action scenes, which are so fast-paced, ridiculous and over the top that they become completely awesome. But that said, fight scenes should serve the purpose of enhancing the story, not desperately trying to distract you from it.

So yeah, I think I'd rather sit through a double feature of Super Mario Brothers and Street Fighter the Movie than watch this again; sure, those movies were also loud, stupid and had almost nothing to do with the games they were based on, but at least Nintendo and Capcom had the good sense to distance them from their respective franchises' canon.
 rawks  §  rad comments, dogg.
 ~FUN FACT  §  at 02:51pm 02/26/10
I was going to use "Double Dragon" as an example at the end, but then I found out that the Neo-Geo fighting game in that series is actually based on the movie. Why they'd choose to make that disaster canon is beyond me, but there you go.
 ~Azul Rojo  §  at 08:34pm 02/26/10
I didn't mind some parts of this movie. The fight scenes were awesome to watch, the characters looked great, and the music was nice, too. Seeing the church, 500 year old Midgar, and the City of the Ancients with better graphics was cool, too. The eye candy was a very nice treat.

All that cool stuff still can't make up for the poor story and below average voice acting (the Englsh voices, anyway). I have no idea what the hell Square-Enix was thinking. If you're going to make a sequel (or prequel, for that matter), it should add to the original story, or answer questions that came up. Advent Children doesn't do EITHER of these things. Why are the 3 new clones so powerful, when the others were pathetic, weak and shaky? And where the hell did the 3 of them come from? What were the other characters up to while Cloud and Tifa were getting on with their lives? How can Cloud suddenly talk to Aeris?

Yet another fine example of why fancy graphics can't fill in for a good story.
 ~Spoony Spoonicus  §  at 12:54am 02/28/10
Flashy visual effects are fun to watch, but there's a good reason why most companies use them sparingly - they're not nearly as impressive if they have to step in and save the plot from itself every ten minutes. I was really hoping Final Fantasy XII was the game that would finally dig Square out of that pit, but nope; as XIII has proven, they made it the rare exception rather than the new rule.
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