"Final Fantasy: The Spirits
Directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi and Moto Sakakibara.
Written by Al Reinert and Jeff Vintar.
Starring the voices of Ming-Na, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames and
Release Year: 2001
Review Date: 7/15/01
Since my family goes to sleep a little early
for my tastes, I went out and caught another movie on Friday night.
I should have just read a book or watched "SportsCenter", but NO...I
had to go and see the worst film of the year, "Final Fantasy: The
Spirits Within." Save for an intriguing teaser for next summer's
(!) "Spider-Man", starring Tobey Maguire, this film is the pure
definition of Hard Vice:
1. The story for "FF" has nothing...sorry,
NOTHING, to do with the video games that the title is based on. The
"FF" video games are role-playing games that usually have you
playing a character that recruits two or three other characters and
you go around killing things, collecting power-ups and magic spells,
and trying to solve a large quest involving saving someone. The
"FF" movie? A doctor named Aki (voice of Ming-Na) has some bad
dreams, so she goes and collects "spirits" of dead things...or was
it living things?...all over a decimated planet Earth. Then, I
realized that before the movie's timeline began, Aki had already
collected six of the eight spirits that she needed. Oh, great! Not
only is the storyline all wrong, but the one I get to see is almost
over! So, what are they going to do for an hour and 45 minutes...
2. Even with the coolest looking animation
I have ever seen, it wears off on you after five minutes. And, when
it does wear off, boy, does this movie stink. It was like the
writers decided to just dial it in on this film, figuring that us
dumb Americans would be amazed by the pretty pictures and not
realize what a piece of shit story there was on hand. I am sick of
the Japanese playing us for chumps. I know bad when I see it, and
further, I know BORING when I see it...and, "Final Fantasy" made me
almost walk out of the theater not once, but FOUR times. I am sure
that I heard snoring during my near-capacity showing. (Should I
even mention that there is a black character in the film, and that
he is the lead white male character's best buddy, and that he dies a
horrible death, and that when he does die, his white partner yells
out, NOOO!, then kills the alien that killed his buddy? I didn't
think so. You'll see it coming anyway.)
3. The talent of the voices on this film is
unbelievable. Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames, James Woods, Alec Baldwin
and Donald Sutherland all lent their voices to this film. Did they
read the fucking script? I doubt it...in fact, I would imagine that
the filmmakers came to them with some of the initial animations and
said, "Whaddya think?" Trickery!
4. The ending of this movie...ugh, the
ending of this movie! Some of you will undoubtedly think that I am
lying to you and still see this film (if you haven't already), but I
would love to hear your thoughts on this horrible ending.
This film is further proof that big budgets
don't always mean great scripts. In fact, this film cost $137
million to make. Not one penny of that was spent on an interesting
story or any kind of character development...and we, the common man,
lose again! I want to reiterate to you all that this is the worst
summer of films I have ever lived through.
Rating: Hard Vice
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard