Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, was released September 10, 2005 in Japan, and is due for theatrical release in the US on November 29, 2005. I'm something of a fan of Final Fantasy VII, so I got my hands on an import copy.

(I promise no major spoilers)

Before I begin: I don't recommend this movie to anyone who hasn't played Final Fantasy VII (and remembers most of it). Take this as a negative mark against the film if you wish, but it was created for the fans.

This is a beautiful movie: the characters are well done and detailed (yes, even Cloud's hair), the scenery is beautiful, and the action scenes are elaborate and fast paced. The story is less impressive: there's not much character development and many of the characters only show up for fight scenes and the occasional comic relief. The story is mainly focused around Cloud, who has cliche, "hopeless hero" attitude about him. The events of the movie follow logically from the story of FFVII with a few unexpected plot twists thrown in. However, I think to minor or non-fans of the game it would seem like a cheesy and fairly pointless excuse to animate the characters in big action scenes.

The action scenes are definitely impressive, and some of them are very fun to watch. Tifa's fight scene, which we got a glimpse of in the trailer, is possibly my favorite scene of the whole movie. However, many of the action scenes suffer from the same problem that plagued the second two Matrix movies: they go on for far too long. There are only so many times you can see Cloud perform physically impossible motorcycle stunts before you feel like you've seen them all. Some of the scenes also suffer from the "Why are we here?" syndrome; where an obviously one-sided and pointless fight seems to go on for far longer than anyone expects.

So, the action scenes are repetitive and never-ending, the story is cheesy, and character development is practically non-existent, so is this a bad movie? Well... yes. Did I enjoy watching it? Oh yeah. Would I watch it again? Definitely.