About Us

Contact Us





First Chapterss


Sam North and Carine Thomas

Cast: The voices of Ming-Na, Peri Gilpin, James Woods, Donald Sutherland, Ving Rames, Steve Buscemi
- Earth 2065 -

In a summer that has brought us a boy’s game playing fantasy girl to life in the shape of Angela Jolie as Lara Croft, it’s one of those curious things that in another game brought to the big screen, Final Fantasy, the life in the girl is so much greater than that exhibited by the leaden Lara Croft. Dr Aki Ross, the young woman in question is the complete opposite of the TombRaider star. She is intelligent, resourceful, calm, willful, a bio-scientist who has absolutely no time for a shower. Despite the film magazines showing her with her kit off, in this film the small boys are going to be disappointed, Aki has to save the world and there’s barely time for a kiss.

The most remarkable thing about Aki is that she is an entirely CGI creation. Final Fantasy is one of the first CGI films (the other being Shrek which takes a cartoony direction) and it aims to recreate as close as the current technology can a realistic humanoid experience. The game Final Fantasy has been a consistent best seller for years now and fans are obsessive, you only have to check the web to see that.

Some might quibble at the stock soldiers who form Aki companions. They are still some way from being fluid humans and more attention could have been paid to the dialogue. It’s a typical sci-fi plot, Earth has been invaded by ghostly aliens and all of humanity is doomed unless Aki and her Dr Cid (played by Donald Sutherland), can find the eight spirits that inhabit the planet which could possibly be used to defeat the enemy. To raise the states a little, Aki herself has been infected by the enemy and may die unless they can find these spirits.

The films creators and CGI artists have clearly demonstrated that they have created a believable young woman with a soul. Someone we care about, we feel for her and her face is so expressive, she out acts Angela Jolie with ease. For this alone Final Fantasy is a water-shed movie. 20 years from now when CGI characters are the only actors on Screen Aki will be remembered as the first realistic step into films of the 21st Century. This is not just a new art form, these are characters who can be anything, anyone, will never ask for a bigger trailer, or money and can stay young forever.

The plot of Final Fantasy may well be a rerun of ‘The Day the Earth stood still’ complete with mad Generals who just want blast the aliens back into outer space. Indeed it is the same plot of this years ‘Evolution’ with the same mad Generals. Final Fantasy’s mad General nearly succeeds in destroying all of mankind, but Dr Cid, Aki and her would-be boyfriend Captain Gray (Alec Baldwin) are going to save the day, even if they die in the attempt. In a nice contrast to the crash bang wallop of TombRaider, Final Fantasy is a sensitive film, going for a spiritual theme. Aki and Dr Cid use logic and faith to firstly understand the enemy then defeat them. There is little time as the aliens literally suck the very souls out of human life (something borrowed from Philip Pullman’s ‘Northern Lights’ trilogy where the Spectres terrorise the humans of a parallel world).

Breath taking, spectacular, the effects of the alien planet are particularly beautiful, Final Fantasy is a remarkable film and a new standard to follow. Perhaps not quite up to the imaginative level of Akira or Ghost in the Shell, but compassionate and quirky. (Be good to contrast this with Titan AE as well which was merely animation but nevertheless an intelligent film)

Although not particularly promoted well in the UK and not as successful as it should have been in the USA, this is an excellent film and one of the few you can safely take the kids too and enjoy yourself.

Final Fantasy Details
HIRONOBU SAKAGUCHI (Director) has led the development division since joining Square Co. Ltd. in l986. He has produced more than 40 million units of computer game software worldwide, with his smash hit Final Fantasy series selling more than 33 million units. At Square, Sakaguchi was promoted to executive vice president in 1991. He recently entered into an exclusive production arrangement with Square where he plans to oversee the development of Square's future games as well as producing other feature film projects.

MOTONORI SAKAKIBARA (Co-Director) was born in Tokyo and earned his BS in Architecture from Musashino Art University in Japan. As an animator and modeler, he has created various television programs and commercials while working for Japan Computer Graphics Lab (J.C.G.L.), Namco Ltd. and HD/CG New York, Kaufman Astoria Studios. He joined Square in 1995 to work on Final Fantasy VII, first as a chief 3D animator and modeler and later as a director. Sakakibara is the winner of the ARTFOLIO International Art Competition (1993) and the Japan Graphic Exhibition (1989), among other honors.

More Reviews

< Back to Index
< About the Author
< Reply to this Article