Back in the far reaches of the past, Final Fantasy 7 Advent Children was an event. It was the first the whole cast of Final Fantasy 7 had returned (in a non, oddly bat-like form), and myself and others literally could not wait to experience the Final Fantasy 7 “sequel”. I secured a copy as soon as it was available… but, unfortunately, there weren’t English subtitles available yet. In the harrowing 28 minutes before someone translated the movie, I made up my own “subtitles” for the first half of the movie (based on a rough plot outline I found) for the amusement of my friends. A few weeks later (and now actually knowing what’s going on), I returned and finished riffing on the film for the sake of completion. That is exactly what follows below, mostly unedited (I had to remove a Snakes on the Plane reference for my own sanity… and, frankly, some inside jokes with my friends that come off as really racist/misogynistic. I was young and stupid.).
Our film picks up exactly where the game left off, in some crazy future where Red XIII has somehow had kids…
… and what was the center of civilization is an overgrown modern art project.
498 good men died during the making of FF:AC. Before the film begins, a moment is taken to acknowledge those no longer with us.
Back in the present, Reno is exploring the omega crater from the finale of FF7 via helicopter.
Yep, exploring a hole that goes as deep as the center of the planet from the air. Gonna get a lot done today.
The Lifestream is introduced. Basically, it’s where all life comes from, and is made of a billion green spider webs. If you have arachnophobia, I wouldn’t recommend ever dying.
Old Midgar is shown, complete with its planet-killing light show. Screw the planet, I wish our power plants were like Disney World.
True fans will recognize these wires from the sixth dungeon’s hidden area.
Look, its Jenova. There might be some suspense in this flick if she wasn’t introduced in the first four minutes.
I don’t recognize this character from FF7, but I think he’s important to something.
Here’s a FF7 party during the final battle. It sure wasn’t my main party. Cait Sith forever.
Cloud is the only one in the group doing any damage, which is completely game accurate. Limit break, limit break, limit break.
Congratulations, FF:AC, on being the 500th thing to ruin this scene for me. Spoilers, dude.
So the Lifestream repelled a giant falling rock, but there was a cost…
… crappy modern art now rules the streets.
Oh, also kids are dying from some unknown disease called “Geostigma”. Might be caused by overexposure to Captain Planet.
Barret’s adopted daughter, Marlene, is caring for Denzel, a nobody that happens to be the adopted son of…
… Tifa! The camera never took so long to pan up.
Tifa calls Cloud to do that nagging thing girls do all the time. Just ask for directions, Cloud! Ha ha ha. Funny joke. Everybody laughs.
And on the outskirts of town, Cloud’s spirit animal pees on Cloud’s spirit.
Oh boy! Presents!
Cloud has to really squint to see the title.
And Cloud straps on some goggles and heads off for parts unknown. Good man.
Enter the bad guys! Meet Bad Dude #1…
… Bad Dude #1.2…
… and Curly Joe.
The bad dudes attack Cloud while on motorcycles, so Cloud deploys the multiple swords hidden in his bike. I could think of other things (maybe ranged weapons?) to have for emergencies.
Bad Dude #1.2 is equipped with a gunblade. Whatever.
In a stunning action sequence, Cloud is shot in the face…
… and loses 12 HP.
The random encounter ends and Cloud moves on to some posh estate in the hills.
Look, nerds, it’s things you recognize. Be excited at a fricken road sign!
Cloud parks it and briefly clashes with some left-handed dumbass.
Even hi-def screens have difficulty rendering this much raw cool.
Rufus Shinra is back! No, he wasn’t blown up in FF7!
This isn’t an image of him and his entire office being enveloped in flames.
“Didn’t you try to kill me, like, 3,000 times?”
*cough* “Dumbass” *cough*
Meanwhile, Tifa and Marlene find that Cloud has been crashing at his old girlfriend’s place.
And now Bad Dude #1 is meeting with Rufus. They speak to each other in a cryptic manner only bad guys can hope to understand.
Bad Dude has been finger-painting with people’s IDs.
I AM THE LIZARD KING!
Cloud is preparing to carry the rest of the movie.
Back at the church, Curly Joe crashes the party.
And gets his ass handed to him by Tifa, who has been doing nothing but power leveling and watching Jackie Chan movies for the last two years.
Tifa’s Ehrgeiz ending was really short.
But Curly Joe has a Final Attack Materia, and drops Tifa like a tube sock filled with sausage.
And it turns out Cloud has been hoarding the most powerful weapons on the planet in a cooler in a building with no roof in the slums.
Also, in a plot no one cares about, Denzel and the kids are lured away by Bad Guy #1.2 and his delicious candy
“Girl, you better not be stabbed through the chest.”
Cloud imagines what it would be like to be in Final Fantasy VIII.
Cloud & Tifa are rescued by the Turks who, otherwise, offer no help at all. They’re well thanked.
Curly Joe delivers the Final Fantasy equivalent of a nuclear payload to his buds, and is barely even acknowledged. No respect.
This isn’t going to be good for anybody.
Tifa has to convince Cloud to actually get off his damn ass.
And Cloud decides to bike through a forest at mach speed for his rescue mission. Note: Not recommended.
It turns out the reason Cloud has been such an aloof dick recently is because he’s sick, and not because he’s always been like that.
Bad Dude #1 invites the kids to the most evil bath party ever.
Cloud briefly imagines a world where Aeris had breasts.
The kids are not all right.
Cloud nearly falls, but is saved at the last moment by Spawn.
“Vincent, you saved my life, what can I do to thank you?”
“Cloud, you need to buy Dirge of Cerberus, coming this March.”
Further product placement.
Ladies and gentlemen, if I may have your attention? This is about where I learned what was actually happening in the movie. It doesn’t make a difference.
So the jerk squad is using a ring of children of the corn to protect their new art demolition project.
I suppose inanimate children aren’t that great a defense against angry villagers, so demon doggies are summoned for crowd control.
There are people starving in Africa while it’s some guy’s job to render a demon dog’s tongue.
Oh boy! Tifa’s gonna do something!
Ah, hell, she’s handing out hugs instead of ass-kickings.
Look out! The bad dudes have the biggest bike lock ever!
I’ve determined Denzel has more realistic hair than I do. I envy him.
Reno & Rude are already pissed off at the horrible cosplay they’re inspiring.
And Bad Dude #1 and Rufus are meeting… somewhere to discuss… something?
I’m sorry, at this point I guess my party died and we had to start over.
I wish they’d just let you skip cinema scenes you’ve already seen.
Right, right, helicopter, yes, very good.
And back to the Blanket and Badass Show.
Oh, now this can’t be good.
Puffy Coat has no idea what he’s in for.
Tifa, just use a soft on the squirt and get out of here.
It’s Bahamut… Zero? Neo? Umm… Let’s just call him Bahamut Gonna Kill Everybody. That good?
“Bahamut no like sculpture in the round!”
Reno & Rude are shocked by the fact that you’re still reading this.
If you live in New York City, you know that your finer art critics do vomit energy balls on pieces they dislike.
“Run! Run! Or you’ll be well done!”
The comic relief vs. the bad guys. This should go well.
No Turks were harmed in the rendering of this program.
“Rockin'” is actually a status ailment.
Denzel wants to be eaten…
… But is saved by the only biological parent in this movie…
… Ha ha, just kidding, biological fathers are just as mythical as a kitty cat riding a red dog.
Miraculously, Squeenix chose not to animate Red XIII’s anus.
Where are the cops in this town?
Speaking of cops, I think Yuffie is legal in this movie. Does this make your hentai legal? Probably not.
Right now there are some nerds on a Gamefaqs message board arguing over how many laces are on Yuffie’s boots.
Originally, FFAC was supposed to be about how Cid became the housekeeper for this old hotel with his family and… Oh never mind, it’s not that interesting.
“Yeah, I already had a scene, I’ll be over here.”
“Mama Tifa, your friends are batshit insane.”
“I’m getting the band back together and… oh. You’re already?… Well… I still have a lot of swords…”
“Sorry, babe, the seat is made out of swords, too. You get used to it.”
Additional preview for FF7: Barret on a Hot Tin Roof.
Cid is using his Be Ugly As Hell Materia.
Vincent Valentine is Spider-Man.
Ninja that can’t run vertically up walls are considered disabled.
Bahamut destroys the… Midgul Edge Temple?
“I was a strict acolyte of Midgul!”
“Cracker! Do something!”
Three swords are better than one. For Goro, I guess.
The mere act of Bahamut falling down may cause more damage than his badly aimed fireballs.
I’m glad everyone is wearing their Geostigma Awareness Ribbons.
“What’s in the box?”
Cloud, now taking on the gigantic dragon mono y mono, attempts a septuple tech.
The new, blue human torch.
The sperm enters the egg and the miracle of life begins.
In a desperate battle to save the city, Cloud, naturally, decides to have a flashback.
But he comes out of it in time to use his Bahamut spine rip fatality.
“Well, that was the longest summon ever.”
“Could I get a cure potion? I think I’ve broken my knees.”
Spoiled rich boy Rufus jumps off buildings for fun.
What was the secret of the ooze, anyway?
Voltron force, assemble!
Even Tseng forgot he was dead.
You know you’re cool when you jump off a building and you’re five feet from where you parked.
2 Final 2 Fantasy
If you think these scenes aren’t silly enough, watch them in fast forward with Yakety Sax playing.
Reno & Rude are going to pimp your bomb.
Geostigma just kinda makes your arm look old.
If your church doesn’t allow motorcycles, you’re going to the wrong church.
Bad Dude #1, you are one dead mama’s boy.
And for some reason the Lifestream decides to make an appearance.
And heals that wound you were introduced to thirty seconds ago.
Let’s take this battle outside, where we can fly for no discernable reason.
Final Boss Battle: First Form
“Hey, why aren’t we helping Cloud?”
“This is his fight.”
“Because he’s only happy when he’s killing Sephiroth.”
“Isn’t that more like a sociopath than a hero?”
“That’s why I love him.”
“Why did I ever hire you freaks…”
“I could kill you now, but then I’d have nothing to do for the rest of the afternoon.”
Bad Dude #1 digivolve to Omega Bishy!
“Ya miss me? Oh, give Sephy a kiss!”
“Did I have weather powers before I died? I wanna say yes.”
Final Boss Battle!
Sephiroth has to step 70 feet back when impaling someone.
“Ultimate super-duper neo limit break z!”
“Well, my HP bottomed out on that one. I’ll catch up with you in some poorly written fanfic.”
And our ultimate evil for the evening is defeated by the power of rain.
The kids are healed! Bonus!
“You were always there helping us, weren’t you, T-1000?”
Shot through the heart!
And you’re to blame.
You give explosions that no man could possibly survive a bad name.
Kids, Peter Pan isn’t in this one. You’re thinking of Kingdom Hearts.
“This… is the weirdest afterlife ever.”
Hey, remember these guys?
“Pastor Cloud, will you christen this child of sin?”
“Come, my son, and be with the lord our Cloud.”
“You are now blessed, and temporarily immune to poison.”
“Oh, you are so getting some tonight.”
Well, they’re not blue ghosties, but they’ll do.
“Cloud, I think we should just be friends… I mean, well, I’ve met someone and…”
“See ya, Cloud. We’re gonna go make out in the afterlife.”
“I have no idea what just happened.”
And that’s the story of how Tifa got her groove back.
FGC #178 Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children
- System: Playstation 2, since that’s the only DVD player I had forever.
- Number of Players: Winner of the coveted “zero players” tag.
- Fashion Corner: Can we get a prequel explaining when Cloud started wearing a doorknocker on his shoulder. There has to be an explanation for that, right?
- Shinra Management Handbook: So Rufus has been underground for two years? I mean, I can buy that he ducked out of that crazy explosion in time or whatever, but where’s he getting the cash for helicopters, or paying Turks? Like, has Shinra been operating this whole time, and nobody thought to check?
- Barret? Itty bitty Barret. Kind of impressive that they made an entire movie about learning to care for the next generation over yourself and pretty much ignored the one established father they had in the cast.
- Speaking of ignored cast: How do Reno and Rude get so much more screen time than the entire rest of the cast? Who on the staff has such a soft spot for Reno that… Oh my God this is where the Axel thing started…
- Just play the gig, man: The music in this one is, frankly, overwhelming. The orchestrated FF7 scores are amazing, but it seems like they’re just there to manipulate the audience into caring about the latest threat. Nobody was actually concerned about Curly Joe, but here’s the boss music, see, he’s supposed to be important! Meh.
- Did you know? Sephiroth gained his one, black wing in this movie. Well, okay, maybe it started in Kingdom Hearts, but you don’t see red-scarf Cloud in this one, so this is the first real Final Fantasy 7 material that gave the one-winged angel his one wing. This motif went on to be practically his defining trait in Crisis Core, so it’s kind of funny that it didn’t start in the original Final Fantasy 7.
- Would I play again? I watched the Director’s Cut to prepare for this article (and chase finishing Final Fantasy 7). You know what? I’m pretty sure this movie is a million hours long. I, unfortunately, don’t have another million hours to spare, so I doubt I’ll watch it again anytime soon.
What’s next? Vincent didn’t get nearly enough screen time in this one, so let’s get that Turk his own game! We’re shifting from an symphony to a dirge, so please look forward to it!