out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
Review by Susan Granger
2½ stars out of 4
There's a far deeper question than whether the movie-makers were
faithful to the inter-active computer game which inspired this animated
fantasy/adventure. This is the first major studio release with an entire cast of
computer-generated humanoid actors - and the CGI graphics, dubbed
'hyperRealism,' are an amalgam of photography and painting. It's 2065 and Earth
has been invaded by spectral aliens. Few humans remain but there's the beautiful
heroine, Dr. Aki Ross (voiced by Ming-Na) and her mentor, Dr. Sid (voiced by
Donald Sutherland). They're working on an antidote involving various, positive
spirit waves which will disarm the enemy phantoms. Aiding Aki, who has a ghost
spore in her chest, is Capt. Gray Edwards (voiced by Alec Baldwin) and his
renegades, The Deep Eyes (voiced by Steve Buscemi, Peri Gilpin, Ving Rhames).
But a reckless, gung-ho military strategist, General Hein (voiced by James
Woods), is determined use the highly-destructive, space-mounted Zeus Cannon to
bombard Earth with a bio-etheric energy force although its ecological effect is
unknown. The "acting" is as credible as in many story-propelled sci-fi sagas and
Aki's character combines buff sexiness with spirituality. Significantly, this
could be the first Japanese animation to make the cross from cult status to mass
acceptance in the United States, a feat at which "Princess Mononoke" failed. The
"Final Fantasy" computer game has been popular since its introduction in 1987
and its creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi, worked with director/animator Motonori
Sakakibara, utilizing a cliché-laden, contrived script by Al Reinert and Jeff
Vintar. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Final Fantasy: Spirits Within"
is an innovative 6 - too bad the dazzling 'eye candy' technology was wasted on
such a trivial pursuit.
Copyright © 2001 Susan Granger
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