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A Review...

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001.07.18)

It’s been a whole week since we saw Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and now that this site’s new layout is done I have time to review the movie.

First let me just say that the graphics and effects were amazing. The hairs, the flesh tones, even the wrinkles in the characters’ faces were all incredibly life-like and detailed. And I loved the holographic computers. But, during parts of the movie when the whole character was in view, such things as the movements of their arms, or the way they would touch their face, these things didn’t seem as realistic as the facial details, and it reminded me that this was just a computer graphics movie.

Now, about the story. At first I was disappointed in the story. I was expecting some really good sci-fi—as good as the graphics detail. But what I got, I guess you could call more of sci-fantasy, where the souls/spirits of living things can be ripped out of their bodies by these aliens (called “Phantoms”). At first I was disappointed. I had to just tell myself that this is not about some future Earth, but an alternate universe one—like the ones in the Final Fantasy games where magic is possible. But then I read on a forum where somebody said to see it with Akira in mind. To see the movie as if it’s Japanese anime.

Thinking like that, I think that the story is now OK. It is a story where scientists have discovered that all living things do have spirits (and you can see them when energized, they’re blue), and one scientist (Dr. Sid) believes that Earth is alive (like the Gaia theory) and that all spirits come from and return to Gaia. It is a story where a meteor crashed to Earth, releasing aliens (“Phantoms”) who turned Earth into a wasteland save for large cities who built domes around themselves to keep the aliens out. And it is a story of Dr. Aki Ross, who is searching for the eight spirits (again, the souls of living things) so that Dr. Sid can combine them and hopefully drive away the aliens.

So, I would definitely say that this is a movie to go see if you’re into seeing really good computer graphics. As for the story, I was originally planning to see this movie as many times in the theater as possible (as I did with The Matrix), but now I’ll settle for the one theater viewing.

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