For years, the Niflheim Empire and the kingdom of Lucis have been at war. The empire, having dominated most of the world of Eos, covets the power of the last known Crystal, which is held in Lucis' capital city, Insomnia.
In order to protect his people from these advancing forces, King Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII used the power of the Crystal to surround Insomnia with a magical wall. Along with this barrier, Regis assembled an elite military task force known as the Kingsglaive. By drawing their power from the king, the Kingsglaive protect Lucis' borders from the onslaught of the empire and other forces that would do them harm.
One such member of the Kingsglaive is Nyx, a man nicknamed "The Hero" by his fellow warriors due to his arrogance and desire to save everyone. However, his pride gets the better of him, causing him to disobey his captain's orders, resulting in a demotion. Now, Nyx spends his days guarding the city gates, but things begin to change once word gets out that Regis plans to sign a peace treaty with their sworn enemies.
"I went in expecting nothing and still got disappointed". This sentence sums up Kingsglaive succinctly and accurately. Of course, for a more detailed explanation of why this movie is somehow worse than that cash grab that is Advent Children, I'll be spoiling the film below. If you care about the story and/or have no qualms paying 10 bucks or so for a ticket, go ahead and watch it. Otherwise, welcome, dear reader, to another episode into the dark spiraling hell that is my review.
Spoilers start here.
The movie begins promisingly enough, a simple prologue that explains the world and its inhabitants well enough. However, after that
comes a poorly shot fight scene. This fight scene is a prime example of one of the movie's greatest downsides. As pretty (and I mean pretty) the CGI is, the frantic and erratic camera following the fight make it difficult many times to even comprehend the action and the stakes involved. However glamorous or epic the scale of the action is, the erratic camera makes the action scenes far less enjoyable than it should, which is a damned shame.
As we enter the movie proper, you may notice that the lip syncing is way off. Which is curious, considering the movie was shot with the English voices first. Not that it matters much, especially considering how atrocious some of the dialogue is. None of the characters in Kingsglaive speak like normal humans. The biggest offender is Lunafreya, the main heroi- damsel in distress of the film, who seem to speak entirely in what I call "Trailer Bait", who goes on vaguely saying such gems like "I must fulfill this destiny for it is my duty to fulfill this destiny" or some "destiny"-infused nonsense. Nyx's dialogue is mostly passable, he seems the most human of them all. It is really jarring to see how disconnected and artificial the dialogue is seeing as the actual game itself (judging from recent gameplay footage), and hell, the anime, have the characters speak naturally and normally. Ardyn's dialogue I rather liked, although that could be chalked up to how much fun his VA is having with is character. His scenes are a pleasure to watch, few as they are.
The story itself is simple, but poorly told. Many characters seem to be written backwards. What I meant by this is that, instead of having a character's motivation naturally progress them into a situation, most of the characters seem to have a purpose or a scenario they are required to be in and the writing tries to force the characters into fulfilling this purpose or being present in the scenario by whatever means necessary. An example off the top of my head is Libertus' betrayal and redemption. So the big guy gets mad, betrays the glaive, and feels bad after seeing that the Resistance members are all nutcases, and then comes back to save Nyx. His arc is so poorly formulated the only reason I can think of why he's written like this is because the writers wrote the scene near the end with Nyx struggling with Glauca near the end and they needed to write someone in to save him. That and Luna needs a driver and Cor's nowhere to be found (Cor's probably in the trunk of the Regalia methinks). Ravus' arc was pretty lousy as well, so he hates Regis for not helping him despite it was the Empire's fault his country fell and now he's actively harboring a personal vendetta against Regis specifically? Uhh, you go dude. I'd hate it if he ended up as the Main Villain of FFXV, his motivations are lousy and weak.
Ultimately the story ends as an ad for FFXV. Not complaining about this in particular, since this was basically the purpose of the film, but I'm sure a lot of casual moviegoers would be left disappointed as the whole story thread isn't resolved even after the end. Instead, the whole purpose of the film is basically to act as the 2 hour opening CG cutscene to FFXV. In that retrospect I can't hate it as much, but then I remembered I spent money to watch the opening cutscene of a game that isn't out yet.
At least Advent Children had a proper story with a beginning and end and the plot is resolved. Sure it reuses the same plot threads, but at least I knew what was going on in that Bahamut fight, the same cannot be said for the Ultros fight here.
Being a Final Fantasy fan who has been following the development of Final Fantasy XV pending its release, I decided to watch Kingsglaive as soon as it was released in the theaters. I will try to give my impressions of each individual aspect of the movie while withholding spoilers, thus keeping this review short. To sum it up - there is nothing that will blow your mind out of the water in this movie besides the animation, but it is definitely worth a watch if you're planning to purchase and play the game - it stands as a decent prequel to the game, although not
so much as a stand-alone.
There is no shadow of doubt that the strongest point of the movie lies in its animation . Rather than engaging in redundancy by attempting to describe the animation in words, watch the official trailer on YouTube to see it for yourself. It's worth the two minutes of your time even if you're not a Final Fantasy fan. The depiction of Insomnia is extremely immersive and it does its job at getting me excited to begin exploring the world of Final Fantasy XV.
The story is nothing standout if one views it as a stand-alone movie. However, I consider that the main purpose of the movie would be more of an introduction to the world and historical background of Final Fantasy XV as it is a prequel to the game after all. While the story might be simple and rather predictable, I think keeping it this way as a prequel to the game was the correct decision as having a convoluted story with plot twists out of nowhere would spoil the movie's purpose of being an introduction as it will scare away a part of its target audience.
The characters are not particularly outstanding, but commendable nonetheless. The main character - Nyx is likable and will get you rooting for him throughout the story. By the end of it he will be remembered as a badass. One thing I must give credit to the creators for is the fact that they did well to show the plight of some of the characters in the story and their moral conflict within themselves in a not overly-complicated way. This movie did not just keep so simple as to merely - "Oh, this guy is good. This guy is bad," but actually displays why some of the characters in the show make the decisions they did, which gives way more depth to their actions. Although I think there could be more focus on that moral conflict, it was sufficient for me to see these characters as more than just mere generic good guys or villains.
Being a Final Fantasy fan, I could notice and appreciate many references to creatures that exist in the Final Fantasy universe, increasing my enjoyment of the show. My only complaint would be the fact that some action scenes can get really messy, which does make it unclear and possibly even confusing as to what is going on. I also thought that the action scenes were slightly too drawn out. However, it is far from boring and it didn't detract from my enjoyment and viewing experience.
Despite this not being mandatory to play the game, do give this a go if you are planning to play the game. It's worth it as it serves as a decent prequel and adds hype to the upcoming release of the game.
I have been a Final Fantasy fan since the old days and although it's my favorite video game series of all time, I have to admit that the animations and movies based on the series are not always up to par and some times even horrible, but thankfully this is not the case with this movie. It is definitely worth 2 hours from your daily routine just for the visuals alone.
This is the strongest part of the movie. The graphics used are some of the best if not THE best you have ever seen. The characters look realistic to the point that sometimes you
confuse them with real actors (although there will be times that you will spot an occasional weird looking guy, but it's rare). The backgrounds are majestic and immersive in such a way that makes you wish that you could live there. Fantasy and reality blend nicely in a way that doesn't seem out of place and if you are interested in the game, it will really make you want to explore this beautiful world in full when it comes out.
The story is basic Final Fantasy stuff: The Machine Empire tries to take over the Magic City with the Crystal and Heroes try to stop it! If you have been an avid Final Fantasy player, this will remind you the FF AGITO story but it's only natural if you consider that they were based on the same universe before they rename FF VERSUS XIII into FFXV. This movie serves as an intro to the actual game story line but it's more than that. Square Enix didn't try to just "cash grab" with this. They put an effort to show the inner struggles of all the characters, so you can sympathize with their motivations better and it succeeds. This is not JUST an intro, but a good full movie with its own heroes, villains and ending.
The main good characters are a team of bad-ass soldiers working for the good king trying to support their homeland vs the oppressor. Nothing too outstanding but none of them are dislikable either. The protagonist (Nyx) is your standard over the top action hero, but that doesn't mean that he is one dimensional. He succeeds in making you feel with his troubles and you end up supporting him till the climax! The rest of his team are also well portrayed with their own motivations and conflicts. Not many of the bad guys are shown here (they definitely keep them for the game) but for their little screen time the succeed in making you interested in them. Particularly the opposing Emperor manages to stand out a lot! His composure, his witty lines, his whole plan make for an outstanding villain Ruler and I can't wait to see more of him when the game comes out!
If someone tells you that this is not an enjoyable movie he outright lies. It has lots of action perfectly choreographed, lots of drama, some funny moments, good music, great visuals and if you are a true Final Fantasy fan you will spot many many many references to keep your inner fanboy excited! Real fun from the beginning to the end.
This is a great movie, as a fanboy I would rate 11/10, but since I have to look at some minor weakness objectively I give this 8 or 9/10. Watch it, you will not be disappointed.
The visual & audio appeal in this movie is off the charts. The CGI is mind-blowingly amazing while the story offers nothing deep or surprising.
There is a crap-load of jam-packed action scenes occurring at least every 10 minutes throughout. I'm talking like a Kraken on an AIRSHIP fighting teleporting knights, or Pacific Rim scale battles while ANOTHER dragon ball like battle is happening between two people WHILE at the same time the two GIANTS are fighting eachother... INCEPTION!
Seriously though, don't go in thinking there is a great & meaningful story to be told here. Although, I can gladly say
the story of Nyx (the MC) was presented in a mature and refreshing manner. It avoids typical cliches or cringe-like moments common in fairy-tale like stories.
One should be able figure out the premise of the story fairly quickly. Less time is spent explaining the intricacies of the world and instead, more time is about putting you inside it. It forces you to experience it through the eyes and life of Nyx, who's simply a badass.
There was so much crazy stuff happening all the time in most of the action scenes, it was almost comedic at some points, seriously. Anyways, just pure action and entertainment throughout, while simultaneously presenting the beginnings of FF15 in a stylish fashion.
Let's just now hope that S-enix can deliver and retain the quality in FF15 this time around, far gone from the days of the S-soft era...