Stage 6 Films and Square Enix Present the latest venture into the Final Fantasy world with, KINGSGLAIVE. Click through for Gadi Elkon's review of the animated film.
Synopsis of the film courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
"The magical kingdom of Lucis is home to the sacred Crystal, and the menacing empire of Niflheim is determined to steal it. King Regis of Lucis (Sean Bean) commands an elite force of soldiers called the Kingsglaive. Wielding their king’s magic, Nyx (Aaron Paul) and his fellow soldiers fight to protect Lucis. As the overwhelming military might of the empire bears down, King Regis is faced with an impossible ultimatum – to marry his son, Prince Noctis to Princess Lunafreya of Tenebrae (Lena Headey), captive of Niflheim, and surrender his lands to the empire’s rule. Although the king concedes, it becomes clear that the empire will stop at nothing to achieve their devious goals, with only the Kingsglaive standing between them and world domination."
Visually there is little argument that the folks at Square Enix have always put out spectacular work. The mixture of futuristic and old styles has always made Final Fantasy stand out as unique and intriguing. Over the years the games themselves have dived deeper into differing styles but the FF feel has always remained. This film shares that quality. It looks and feels like a Final Fantasy production and so you're immediately hooked in from the opening moments of the movie. Director Takeshi Nozue's long history with FF has made for this transition into film script a seamless move. The movie shares all the great visual cues you want and love from a Square Enix Final Fantasy plot and story.
Whether it's Aaron Paul as Nyx or Sean Bean as King Regis (love FF use of Regis in everything!) the visual touches to the real life counterparts is a nice touch. Nozue's visual team combines perfectly the Japanese styling with the American talent portraying the characters. The film lives and breathes via it's visual presence on the screen.
The other grand element of Final Fantasy is that iconic score and the musical taste of the FF universe. The film does seem a bit darker at times, but so did so many of the games at certain parts. John Graham's music mixed in with Yoko Shimomura's lovable main theme tie in so many of the classic FF feel with the modern film elements. Music is what ties the old and the new elements of Square Enix film. The cues in the emotional pull of the plot are a bit obvious, but never seem campy or misplaced. In fact the musical tones help push past some of the sluggish script issues. Overall the film is worth getting simply to see the visual style and the iconic music come together once again in a grand Final Fantasy experience.
The bad elements of the film revolve around the obvious plot points you see coming a mile away. The story isn't bad just pretty simple for regular FF fans. Their is also a feel that the team dulled some of the violence and death to make this a more PC version for younger fans. It's understandable to keep the structure and story simple and easy for younger audiences, but it takes away from the full appeal. The same dilemma has always effected Disney films as well. The difference is that Final Fantasy has always been a bit more out of the mainstream with it's look and feel. I wish one of their ventures into film or gaming would be much more adult themed and realistic. The voice talents do bring their A game. For those fearful that Aaron Paul is a unique choices must realize he is diving into these animated and gaming roles frequently. And he actually fits really nicely. Paul's youthful cadence is masked by his deeper voice and fits actually really nicely opposite the likes of a powerful Sean Bean. Lena Headey is great but wish we had more of her character in the film.
Final Fantasy Kingslaive is a beautiful visual masterwork from the Final Fantasy team that maximizes its musical quality and feel though lacking a hard hitting story. Overall a good addition to the Square Enix family and certainly could help teach other animated filmmakers to step up their games. Next time I just hope Final Fantasy makes a more adult tale that doesn't have to cater to the young audience that is their gaming staple.
6 out of 10.
Visually a 8 of 10!!