Squaresoft recently released a DVD movie following up on the characters that featured in Final Fantasy VII. "Advent Children" was an impulse buy for me, though my expectations weren't really high for it. After all, a 101 minute CGI movie wasn't going to recapture the blood and sweat and magic of the epic game FF7 was.
My instinct about "Advent Children" wasn't wrong. It was mildly interesting to give some limelight to Reno and Rude of the Turks -- the Turks were quite amusing adversaries in the game -- but the movie doesn't really develop the story of Cloud and company much further though 2 years have passed since their adventures in Crater.
In this movie sequel, there is an epidemic sweeping through the city of Midgar. Cloud himself has become infected, though he doesn't want his friends to know about it. What's worse is the rise of 3 Cloud-clones who seek the resurrection of uber-bad guy, Sephiroth, whom they think will lead them in their quest for world domination or whatever.
It was disappointing that the main characters -- all 7 of whom had rich backstories in the game -- are relegated to simply playing muscle in this movie. The gang shows up for the final punch-up, but it's mainly Tifa that reaches out to Cloud on a personal level while the others just keep monsters off his back.
Without the interactivity of the game interface, without the time taken to flesh out the characters, without the ability to make wacky combinations of "materia" just to see their effects on enemies, the FF7 player just sits and drools watching the events of "Advent Children" unfold, rather than being involved in the process of making it happen. The movie experience thus pales in comparison to the game. Bleh.
Still, the video footage from the movie has become rich material for spawning parodies of itself. Check out YouTube for a bunch of FF7 silliness. You might start with this one, entitled, "The Real Story."