If you can't see the recurring themes from the video games in this Final Fantasy movie, I don't think you were really paying attention in the first place. The ideas of Gaia/, environmentalism, planet destruction by mankind, spirits,... it's totally FF. It hasn't aged well but still looks gorgeous,
The Spirits Within (Fantasy Action) is a Japanese-American film. This is the first feature film in synthetic image representing human beings realistically.
Les Créatures de l'esprit (Fantastique - Action) est un film américano-japonais de Hironobu Sakaguchi. Il s'agit du premier long métrage en image de synthèse représentant des êtres humains de façon réaliste.
Honestly, I loved it and I still do. It has that "special feeling" about it. I guess the great amounts of criticism came from those who still think that Final Fantasy is still FF VII. This is a movie, not a game. And it had also the purpose to develop new technics for the rest of the games to follow. In 2001, it was way ahead of what Pixar was doing. True story.
The film's crowning achievement is that it *isn't* an anime. Not in the slightest. I'm really proud of Square Pictures, that they tried to make a legit film. Goldsmith's score is engaging, if bombastic, and the technical achievements of the film are astounding for the time. All that said, the lead's acting is pretty terrible, and the script/narrative are pedestrian.
One of those films where it held interesting ideas, humans carrying a life force within them in an ill-fated future where our threat for existence are otherworldly spirit demons. But unfortunately, the film turns into a redundant sci-fi thriller/adventure, following reused tropes that makes the film best suited as a midnight tv movie than a theatrical released film, that just doesn't hold up now.
Pretty blasé sci-fi that's interesting as a technical artifact and does have a petite charm. Steve Buscemi delivers an impressively Buscemian performance. Our boy James Woods is a GREAT obvious villain.
This whole movie bothers me and I really dislike it. Perhaps there is some negative bias there because I'm as big a gamer as much as I am a cinephile, and that includes being a big Final Fantasy fan. Hironobu Sakaguchi does not know how to write or direct a story that fits in the medium of cinema. None of the characters have emotions. Plus the sci-fi element has been done before. The only good thing are the visuals.