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Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within  

Making films out of computer games is not usually advised in Hollywood (anyone remember Street Fighter or Mario Brothers?), but when it was decided that a Final Fantasy film would be made I was very excited. I am a big fan of the games, and what prevented me from getting worried was that the games are very filmic as they are, and so a move to the silver screen seemed an excellent idea.

However, one of the main problems with the film is it lacks everything the games have - involving and ridiculous storylines and characters, huge creatures fighting each other, and dollops of magic and scorcery mixed with inventive sci-fi elements.

The film, although technically gobsmacking, is just a cheesy sci-fi effort, saved by a couple of scenes slightly reminiscent of the games (the enourmous spirit creatures in the desert and later on are very cool). Also, although the textures, and most of the animation is definately groundbreaking and stunning stuff, the human characters just don't look human enough when they move and especially when they talk.

Some of the scenes when the characters have helmets on looks superb and almost real, but a lot of the time they just look a little wrong. Visuals aside, this is uninteresting stuff, with plot and dialogue straight out of a TV action cartoon.

Whether you like the games or not, you'll probably be dissapointed, but if you switch off your mind for an hour and a half and watch the sheer beauty of it all, you'll at least stay interested throughout.



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