Final Fantasy: Spirits Within bombed pretty bad at the box office and I understand why, but it deserved better. Yes, I know that it wasn’t anything like the video games or anything from Square Enix really. However, in it’s own it is a very good movie. I think that if they had not included the Final Fantasy title at all and just called it The Spirits Within it would have been much more successful. It would have been viewed as it’s own stand-alone entity in the Square Enix lineup rather than constantly being compared with all the Final Fantasy video games.
Oh, why is Cid a bad guy? Why is there no Chocobos? Why is there no swords? It’s nothing like Final Fantasy at all. The only similarities are a few passing references in names and such. I’d say it more so resembles Halo; the story has a rather dystopian warzone atmosphere to it but it is very engaging and truly epic.
I found that the dream sequences were a clever way of creating suspense while at the same time building an attachment to the Phantoms. I also liked how the characters spirits were visible and still ‘alive’ in a sense after they were pulled from their bodies. It gave me the impression that they weren’t killed by the spirits, but rather; they joined with the spirits to create a stronger energy. Hironobu Sakaguchi’s flare for bringing out characters’ strengths and weaknesses certainly shined through in this movie; Aki was the hot-headed hero–always getting in trouble but never giving up, while General Hein was the coward–hiding behind his big gun out in space where the “invaders” couldn’t reach him and Gray is the level-headed knight–protecting his princess from the many perils of the world.
If you have avoided seeing this movie because of all the bad press and fanboys whining “ZOMG WHARZ TEH CHOCOBOS?!?!?!” I would very much sugegst you see it for yourself. Atleast give it a rent; if you don’t like it you don’t have to ever watch it again, but atleast you will have formed your own opinion on it. Everyone has different tastes, don’t let someone else tell you what to like and what not to.
Spirits Within likely isn’t available at Play-Asia, as it is somewhat old now–it might be out of print–but you can check if you like.