FINAL
FANTASY

HOME REVIEWS FEO'S STUFF FEO AMANTE THEATER SCIENCE MOMENT UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
FEO FEED BACK?
NEWS?
SUBMISSIONS?
Read:
SUBMISSION
GUIDELINES

MOVIES
FEO AMANTE THEATER
My Short Films
LAST CALL

THE NIGHT MY MONSTER DIED
SCIENCE MOMENT
TOP TEN SCARY MOVIES
UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
RACIAL CLICHÉ RESPONSE
INTERVIEWS

STORY TIME

COMICS

CONS

HORRIBLE NEWS
Movies E.C. McMullen Jr. Review by
E.C.McMullen Jr.
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
Bookmark and Share
IT HELPS
TIP JAR
FINAL FANTASY: The Spirits Within - 2001
Paramount Pictures
Rated: Argentina: 13 / Australia: M / Singapore, UK: PG / Sweden: 11 / USA: PG-13

So after all of our recycling of aluminum, plastic bottles, and paper*, our planet gets smacked upside the head by a meteorite, thus destroying the world as we know it.

Ah well. Who knew?

The meteor also had some nasty bads with it. An alien life form we call Phantoms - due to the fact that they are so damn ghostly - that pass through your body harmlessly enough, but suck the life force right out of you. Killing you dead, but leaving an undamaged corpse.

FINAL FANTASY: The Spirits Within opens with a bizarre dream by Dr. Aki Ross (Voice of Ming-Na: SPAWN [TV]). The dream is as mysterious to us as it is to the Doc. Soon she is landing her craft in a creepy part of New York City at night. I know that's not saying much but it's creepy because all of New York is pretty deserted, people wise. As she travels on foot she fires off some kind of flare that bursts into glow bugs and where these glow bugs settle they reveal varmints that were otherwise unseen. Dr. Ross is trying to avoid these varmints.

Soon she is meeting up with some security folk in heavy armor that are trying to hustle her butt out of there. This place is dangerous doncha know? But Aki is there to find a life form in the barren city and she ain't leaving without it. Even if it means her life or the lives of the security guards: it's that important.

She finds the plant but now the phantoms she lit up before have sensed the presence of humans in their midst and are giving chase. The humans on the other hand have plenty of chase to leave and they are doing their best to leave it behind toot-sweet.

They get out of Dodge in the nick of time - or so it appears. Once back at base they each pass through some kind of scanner that picks up a bug, one of the phantom varmints, in the Security Captain's chest. After a touch and go moment, Aki is able to save the Captain, but refuses to take the scan herself. Just as things start to get sticky, Dr. Sid (Donald Sutherland: DON'T LOOK NOW, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, THE PUPPET MASTERS, VIRUS) arrives, pulls rank, and gets Aki out of there. Of course, we all know now why she didn't want to be scanned, right?

Aki has a varmint inside her and it's growing. It's also slowly killing her. Soon the Captain of the guard, who is also her old lover (Alec Baldwin: BEETLEJUICE, VIRUS), is told and this puts him in an awkward position. He serves the military and Aki serves science. So far science and not the military have been all that's saving humanity from destruction and as far as General Hein (James Woods: VIDEODROME, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES) is concerned, this has given the military a black eye. He will do anything to make the populace turn to the military and not the scientists for salvation. All he needs is an edge.

The discovery that one of the Science community's top people is infected and secretly harboring, an alien enemy phantom inside her, would allow him to prey on the fears of the humans who live inside a single greenhouse / stronghold on the outskirts of New York City. With this he could gain power and then run things His Way. In fact, if it wasn't for the General's permanent scowl^ and his voice like James Woods, he would make sense for the most part.

But the scientists saved the lives of all humanity! You say. Why would the people turn on the scientists now? You could ask the same question today and the answer still wouldn't make sense.

Onward: The man who saved earth, Dr. Sid, is growing old and as he does he is getting less careful about a secret of his own. It appears that Dr. Sid is taken to flights of fancy, believes in otherworldly, spiritual, and immaterial things. FINAL FANTASY: The Spirits Within takes the position that "All you atheists have got it all wrong, and we can't prove it! But we are going to show you something one day that will make you believe, we just don't know when."

Of such things are prophesies born.

That and it always makes a fine excuse for war and the slaughter of teenage boys who would probably be a bunch of delinquents if we didn't thin their herd by sending them off to a nice war Some Where Else.

Most movies~ would side the scientists alongside the military Industrial Complex with just maybe the lone voice of one scientist, after the shit hits the fan, saying "My God! What have we done?"

But here the two typical movie allies are split in twain with the scientists suddenly speaking like crystal rubbing bladder heads. In FINAL FANTASY: The Spirits Within these New-Age scientists are right of course, although the movie has to go through twists and turns and an anti-climatic, plot choking finale to pull it off.

*
TRIVIA
In regards to recycling Aluminum:
About 50% of which makes up a new can - depending on how much you recycle.

Plastic Bottles:
less than one percent becomes a new bottle no matter how much you recycle - even less for glass

Paper:
usually gets thrown into a landfill no matter how much you recycle. Although there is a real use for recycled paper, not all municipalities are close enough to a recycling plant to make it worth the while of said recycler to import a bunch of nasty used paper.

^
FeoNote to the Kiddies: Real bad guys full of ego and hate and visions of slaughter for other people don't scowl, frown, and growl much. You ever see kindly Saddam Hussien scowling? How about Al Capone? Adolph Hitler? Mao Tse-Tung? Slob Milosevic? Jesse Helms? Louis Farrakhan, Charlie Manson, Hugo Chavez, Michael Moore, Pat Robertson? Of course not. What you do see is them smiling and happy all the time. They are evil, yes, but they ENJOY what they're doing.

Okay, Ayatollah Komeini scowled and growled but he was not only evil, he was a repressive insane moron to boot! Some evil people you just can't please no matter how many you torture and kill and these are the most crackpot of all! - Though not necessarily more evil.

~
Like FIRESTARTER, THE STAND, DREAMCATCHER, THE MIST, pretty much every Stephen King story that involves a scientist, that scientist is on the side of Evil, the military, or the evil military.

Amazingly enough though, this movie gets an

!!!UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT!!!:
But it would be a spoiler so proceed with caution when you go to the UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT page.

And while we're at it, howz about a

!!!SCIENCE MOMENT!!!:
Looks like sci-fi, doesn't it? There are spaceships and energy beams and high tech trappings everywhere. But the central premise here, that ethereal beings exist and that these beings can rudely yank your soul out of your body, is the purest moonshine. In other words a science discussion is no more applicable here than it would be in THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

Find more movies at the SCIENCE MOMENT page.

FINAL FANTASY: The Spirits Within biggest claim to fame of course, is the special effects. It is all one big SFX because everything in it is animated. Not only that, but the animators worked to make it all look real! Wasn't this awfully expensive? Hell yes, but a point was being proved, that point being: It costs more than if we didn't do it - BUT - we can still do it!

In this case the "it" was making computer animated people look like real people. Did they pull it off?

In a word, "No." In two words, "Not really."

Whenever the CGI people are in what should be bright light, their skin tones are pale; even grey. Even the dark skinned people in this movie have an overall grey appearance to them - as if they got a sunburn and ash-ed.

To be sure, the animators were probably aware of this and often have the characters moving about in what would be, if this were real, unnatural lighting. So-called outdoor shots also suffer for the same reasons. That said, movie moguls are hungrily envisioning flicks where they only need to hire top name actors while having extras, character actors and speaking roles given over entirely to computer animated golems. It will be interesting to see if real actors can still act properly while addressing a green screen throughout an entire movie. It will also be interesting to find a whole new crop of actors since nearly all of them come from the ranks of extras and minor roles. So there may be a flaw in the logic, but nobody ever said, "Smart as a movie producer!"

There are just far too many animators to list for such a project but even with my critiques on the flaws of the CGI actors, the result is still magnificent to look at. No doubt what I saw with FINAL FANTASY: The Spirits Within is the polished draft toward what will become a final draft in digital actors: at least until freestanding holographic type actors become the norm. All the artists involved did an incredible job and have permanently raised the bar for all who come after.

FINAL FANTASY: The Spirits Within is good for another reason. The original creator of the FINAL FANTASY games, Hironobu Sakaguchi, is also director, writer, and one of the executive producers of the film. This is probably as good as the movie could ever be and is certainly above par with most Japanese Anime, even with the annoying preachiness that drips into the story at awkward moments.

Kudos must also go to Jack Fletcher (AEON FLUX, SPAWN), who in addition to being a voice actor also did an excellent job in hiring the best actors to give voice to the CGI puppets. The voices include Ving Rhames (JACOB'S LADDER, BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, DAWN OF THE DEAD [2004]), Steve Buscemi (TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: The Movie, BARTON FINK, RESERVOIR DOGS, ED AND HIS DEAD MOTHER, PULP FICTION, FARGO), Kieth David (THE THING, THEY LIVE, PITCH BLACK), and Peri Gilpin.

Three Shriek Girls

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2001 E.C.McMullen Jr.

Bookmark and Share Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) on IMDb

Return to Movies

E.C. McMullen Jr. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE
Heavy Metal Immortel 9
FEO AMANTE'S HORROR THRILLER Created by:
E.C.MULLEN JR.
COME FOLLOW ME -
AMAZON
BLOG
DEVIANT ART
ECMJR - PORTFOLIO
FACEBOOK
IMDB
PANDORA
ROTTEN TOMATOES
STAGE32
TWITTER
YOUTUBE

 

FINAL FANTASY is a bit of a misnomer. There have been 10 FINAL FANTASY games as of this writing.

BLU-RAY

 

FROM
E.C. McMullen Jr.
WILLOW BLUE
KINDLE

"'Willow Blue' will burrow under your skin and stay there long after you've put the book down."
- Jeffrey Reddick, Creator of FINAL DESTINATION

PERPETUAL BULLET
PAPERBACK

"'Some People' ... may be the standout story in the book."
- John Grant, 2 time Hugo Winner and creator of Infinityplus

ALSO

E.C. McMullen Jr.'s
short story
CEDO LOOKED LIKE PEOPLE
in the anthology
FEAR THE REAPER
PAPERBACK
"This Ray Bradbury-esque is one of the most memorable and one of the more original stories I've read in a long time."
- Reviewer, Amazon

HORROR 201: The Silver Scream Vol.'s 1 & 2
A tome of interviews and essays by
RAY BRADBURY,
JOHN CARPENTER,
WES CRAVEN,
TOM HOLLAND,
E.C. McMULLEN Jr., GEORGE A. ROMERO, and many more.

I will take you home...Feo Amante's Horror Home Page, Feo Amante's Horror Thriller, and feoamante.com are owned and
Copyright 1997 - 2016 by E.C.McMullen Jr.
FAIR USE - PRIVACY POLICY - OWNERSHIP - CONTACT
All images and text belong to E.C.McMullen Jr. unless otherwise noted.
All fiction stories belong to their individual authors.