AC: Complete contains a considerable amount of new footage that the original version lacks, as well as roughly a thousand revised scenes. This adds a total of 26 minutes to the film.
Some of the new scenes include a more in-depth look at the Geostigma, Denzel and Kadaj's origins, as well as an extended fight between Cloud and Sephiroth.
The Japanese release of this edition features a new ending track from Kyosuke Himuro called "Safe and Sound", with additional lyrics from My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way. The track replaces Himuro's previous track "Calling" from the original cut of the film. However, in the North American release, the song "Calling" remains, and "Safe and Sound" is absent.
Most people probably remember back in the day when the original Final Fantasy Advent Children (FFAC) movie came out and they watched it. Animation was superb but it just didn't piece together like it should have. Heaps of holes throughout the movie made it hard for non-die-hard fans to enjoy the movie.
Final Fantasy Advent Children Complete (FFACC) is like its title says: "Complete". This movie is what the original should have been.
Well the story is pretty much the same as the original. However is it by far superior as most major holes have finally been filled. Instead of characters just appearing somewhere, the movie
actually shows them getting there (or planning to). Vague events that were hard to understand are given more detail and are better explained. Instead of random characters appearing out of the blue and becoming main characters, we get to see their background. Denzel's background for example is now explained and he's not just some random kid who lives with Tifa for no reason.
There are now enough explanations in the movie for a person who has never played Final Fantasy 7 to actually understand what is going on. Although having played the game would still be highly recommended.
Only major flaw that remains in plot now is that Cid, Barret, Yuffie and the rest of the gang were once again very abruptly introduced. (Also a minus on characters)
Not only was all of FFACC animation remastered to look spectacular in HD, but with the addition of many new scenes which were made with current-day technology, the movie is once again the top of the top in the animation industry. Anyone who doesn't watch this movie in HD has no idea what they are missing out on.
The music score is done by Nobuo Uematsu who also does the music for the games. Perfect as always.
The sounds of swords clashing, guns firing and explosions during intense action scenes were very satisfying.
Denzel is no longer some random kid who teleported into the world of Final Fantasy. All the characters have more screentime now. Zack now plays a larger role which should satisfy Crisis Core fans.
Major flaw in characters is that the three "baddies" seemed to have had a very vaguely explained entry into the movie. Still was an improvement over the original movie however.
Being the big Final Fantasy fan that I am, I very much enjoyed this movie. Especially with all the epic action and fight scenes that barrage the viewer nonstop after a certain point. Anyone who isn't particularly interested in Final Fantasy would likely find this movie enjoyable for the action alone.
This movie was what the original movie should have been. Most flaws have been erased and there is plenty of new material to satisfy anyone who has already seen the original movie. Highly recommended to all Final Fantasy fans.
-FFACC has roughly 30 minutes of additional content compared to the original movie. The location of the new content is not all bunched up but rather spread throughout the entire movie.
-All scenes have been remastered to look great in HD. However, the newly added scenes seem look sharper than the remastered scenes from the old movie.
-Denzel actually helps out now and isn't a waste of pixels.
Ok, thins movie doesn't get as much credit as it should due to the first one. This is a must see for anyone not just Final Fantasy fans.
If you've seen the first one, you know it has alot of fan service by having all their favorite characters in the movie. It still has that and more, it fills all the plot holes and unanswered questions and other things that made you think "wtf?" All in all the story is well told.
CGI graphics have never looked better than they do in Advent Children Complete. Let me just say that Blue-Ray DOES make a difference.
Is situational, I
have a surround sound system that made it seem life like, but as I said before it's all situational.
In Advent Children Complete, the characters are more developed then they were in the original. Take Denzel for example, in the first one he is a completely new character with no background. In Complete they bridge that gap by explaining how and why he's living with Cloud and Tifa.
The fight scenes are amazing! They're extended a little more than in the original. The story is easier to follow and the graphics will keep you in awe the entire movie.
I want to start off by saying that Advent Children Complete is way more satisfying than the cut and spliced original American release of Advent Children.
ACC's animation is gorgeous. I cannot stress this enough. It is incredible to see all of the classic characters emoting and looking like real people instead of strangely colored rectangles. This is especially true for Cloud, a character whose expressions and actions convey more meaning than his dialogue. The soundtrack is a nice edition and it features many sleek remixes of those familiar FF7 jingles. Aerith's and Jenova's themes are especially catchy. The voice acting is satisfactory in both
Japanese and English, though I preferred the Japanese sub a tad more.
The story is engaging, if not entirely plausible. The origins of the Remnants and Geostigma are borderline nonsensical, but if you look past that, ACC is still enjoyable. It's fast-paced and the action sequences are intense and delightfully bizarre (parkouring up trees, slicing buildings in half and hurling himself into the stratosphere are all in a day's work for Cloud). Another nice touch is the incorporation of a few Limit Breaks here and there. The movie's themes--redemption, what it means to be a hero, family, and the search for identity--are all well-executed. Even though there's an occasional plot hole, it's hard not to be moved at the end of the film.
Characterization is another one of the movie's high points. As in FF7, Cloud is the protagonist. He's still a fascinating bundle of contradictions, and his struggle to let go of the past and begin a new life is believable. He transitions smoothly from near-total hopelessness to rewarding empowerment, both mentally and physically. Tifa is supportive and capable, but she doesn't hesitate to call out anyone who needs it. Vincent plays a larger role than I expected (Dirge of Cerberus promotion, anyone?). Rufus Shinra provides plenty of catty one-liners, and Kadaj assumes the role as the only Remnant with personality.
It makes absolutely no sense that Sephiroth is revived. I don't care what the Remnants say. Even so, I am totally okay with his reappearance in ACC. It just wouldn't be the same without him and his quotable quotes. On a more plot-based level, Cloud's thwarted hero complex is one of his biggest issues and he needs to put that to rest with a nice, extended, unnecessary yet totally satisfying battle. Works for me.
However, I do have a serious problem with the Turks. I get it, the Turks are those cool, morally gray characters, but they get WAY too much screentime. They have their own spin-offs and they weren't that important in the original game to begin with. Cid? Barret? Yuffie? You remember them, the other crucial party members? Forget it. All together, they get about five minutes of screentime versus the Turks' hour. Not to mention poor Red XIII who gets a whopping one line of dialogue. And suddenly, the Turks, who specialize in espionage and seedy assassinations, have become powerhouses. They must have injected themselves with mako between the end of the game and ACC, because they're unstoppable now.
This brings me to the final problem I have with ACC: Tifa and Loz's fight scene. Throughout the movie, the Turks battle the Remnants. Yeah, they get a little busted up, but they take on Kadaj and Co. like nobody's business. And Tifa, the same master martial artist who put Cloud's head back together and dragged him out of the Lifestream without becoming a vegetable and who fought Sephiroth with her bare hands, loses to Loz? What? Even if she didn't beat him, there were a thousand other ways the fight could've come to a standstill--Loz could've grabbed Marlene and used her as a human shield, for instance. But no. Tifa has to be beaten up by a guy. Can't let those girls seem too empowered.
Despite this irksome turn, ACC is still a worthwhile foray. Visually, it's beautiful, the score is excellent, and the major characters are wonderful.
Plotwise, if you haven't played FF7, this movie may not be for you, but its themes are well-suited. It was wonderful to reenter the distinctive world of FF7 and ACC has very high replay value. Yeah, all of these FF7 compilations are made solely to milk the fans' money, but ACC has style and plenty of heart.
Oh Final Fantasy VII... how you fill me with despair. You know, I really do like Final Fantasy VII. Crisis Core was my first taste of Final Fantasy in general and I still adore it to this day, I had a lot of fun playing through the original PS1 game and I still enjoy playing it every now and then, I loved watching Advent Children with my buddies back in middle school, scouring the Final Fantasy wikia for plot information on all these obscure OVAs and games I could never watch or play because I was too stupid to look them up online, and all
that shit. If only I could've stayed a stupid 12-year-old fanboy with no taste for just a little while longer. Unfortunately, tastes change over time and then you realise there's more stuff out there than you gave credit for.
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children by and large is nothing but fan service. If you've never even played through the PS1 game (let alone looked up the plot details on the Final Fantasy wikia if you can't be fucked to play through a 3-disc game from 1997), you're not gonna understand a lick of what's going on and chances are you'll probably hate it. What I fail to understand is how the blokes at Square Enix thought it would be a good idea to make a FILM sequel to a VIDEO GAME. Did Final Fantasy VII become the .hack// franchise overnight or am I missing something here? Why couldn't we get a video game sequel in the first place? Oh well, what's done is done and there's no changing that now is there?
My biggest gripe with Advent Children is that it feels like Square Enix just hastily slapped this together and threw it out to the fans because they knew that Final Fantasy VII fanboys and fangirls will buy it and eat it up without a second thought. Say what you will about the PS1 game but there was a lot of thought and effort put into making it and for the time, it was revolutionary. You'd think that such a game would get a fitting sequel, right? Well no, it's just a sequel for the sake of being sequel. The story feels like fan fiction to such a large degree that it's not even funny. Sephiroth has a fanclub consisting of three "brothers" who want to revive him with the remains of JENOVA, they travel on motorbikes, and get into a swordfight with Cloud because why the fuck not? It looks cool, right? That's just one example, by the way.
Honestly, I could forgive this were it not for the fact that Square Enix in their infinite wisdom decided to omit around ~30 minutes worth of footage from the original DVD release of the movie and only decided to include it in the "complete" release on Blu-ray. Way to screw fans out of their money, guys. What's next? Are you guys gonna slap together a clip show made entirely out of clips from the original video game in a vain hope to get people who didn't play it to understand the story? Wait... they actually DID do that. Come on! Why couldn't you guys just make a 30 minute summary of the game with updated animation that matches the rest of the film's?! That's just a gigantic middle finger to anyone who actually bought the movie, especially given how Square Enix went all out with the rest of the movie's budget.
If there's one redeeming quality that Advent Children has, it's the production values. Seriously, this movie came out 10 years ago and it's still unmatched in terms of production values. Not even the third Berserk movie can come anywhere close. The English dub of the movie's also quite lovely to say the least, but it does have one nasty little problem: a REALLY bad case of lip-lock. Remember how Akira had the voices pre-recorded before Katsuhiro Otomo et al began animating the film? Well, Square Enix in their infinite wisdom decided to do that. Whilst the ADR crew did their best to make the performances feel natural, you can kinda tell that they slipped up every now and then. Aside from the fact that some lines don't quite match up with the mouth movements, there's also a few rather odd translations thrown into the mix. If you want to know what I'm talking about, the Japanese onomatopoeia for a zipper is translated to "dilly-dally, shilly-shally" (which never ceases to make me cringe when I hear it). I don't think I need to go any further than that, really.
Now where does this leave Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children? Honestly, it's mediocre entertainment for the sake of being mediocre entertainment. If you're in the mood for a senseless action movie with great production values, this certainly fits the bill but then again, movies like Akira, all three films in the Berserk: The Golden Age Arc trilogy, and Ninja Scroll already fit the bill there and then some. Plus, you don't have to play through a ridiculously long PS1 game to properly understand what goes on in those movies either. Fans of Final Fantasy VII have been voicing their thoughts on this movie for years. The bulk of them enjoy it, but there are people like me who don't particularly care much for it anymore. Whether or not you'll enjoy it is a matter for you and you alone to decide. Anyway, that's all for now. Feedback is always welcome, and with that I'm out. Peace :)
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