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(Review originally written at 13 February 2007)

The movie is really good looking but also surprising to see how much the techniques have outdated already. I remember when the movie came out how impressive and revolutionary it all looked. People were actually worried that soon real actors would be replaced by computer animated characters and the way of film-making would change forever. On my most recent viewing I wasn't that impressed anymore and thought that especially the facial expressions looked quite wooden. Amazing how fast and how much computer animated techniques still evolve every year. Who knows, maybe in 50 years from now people would look at this movie and call this the 'first step' in the direction of revolutionary new film-making.

This movie was much hated and also bombed at the box office, although I think that the professional critics were really that negative about it. I actually remembered this movie receiving more praise than hate from them. It was the audience that caused this movie to fail and bomb, although the movie itself is also to blame for that. It really wasn't the best choice to include 'Final Fantasy' into this movie its title, since this movie has really nothing to do with the immensely popular game series, with the same name, from the same director and company. It was the reason why people disliked and even hated the movie. Who knows, with a completely different name and marketing, this movie might had become an huge and popular hit.

The quality for it is definitely there. The story is original and interesting enough and its look and style also definitely makes this movie one well worth watching.

The story is quite unusual, since it prominently features some spiritual subjects. The entire main plot line relies on this. Yet the story is told in such an easy and understandable way that you start believing in the story, even though it gets highly unusual at times, especially toward the ending.

With just the story of the movie, the movie really wouldn't had been a good one to watch. It therefor features also lots of action sequences. Some of the moments and characters reminded of movies such as "Aliens" and "Starship Troopers". It was obvious that the movie was also inspired by this. The movie would certainly had been bad and a bore without the Deep Eyes, the military characters of the movie. It makes the movie great and pretty awesome to watch,

The movie is also definitely helped by the fact that it has a great, Nazi looking and Nazi like acting villain, voiced by the incredible James Woods. The character has such a great evil look in the movie, without exaggerating things too much.

All of the characters but especially the environments and aliens are greatly animated. It's awesome to see the streets of a post-apocalyptic New York City, with lots of details in it. The movie features some great big and impressive looking sequences.

All the characters are being voiced by some well known actors, such as; Ming-Na, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, Peri Gilpin, Donald Sutherland and the earlier mentioned James Woods. These are not only great actors but also persons with great voices. So great casting work here!

Also the musical score by Elliot Goldenthal is surprisingly great. He doesn't compose an awful lot of big scores but when he does, the end result is always something special and great.

Of course the movie isn't as great as it could had been and it has some missed opportunities with its story and characters. Nevertheless a perfectly great and entertaining movie to watch!

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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