This movie is a combination of two amazing phenomenon’s of todays modern culture. A combination of the amazing surge in Japanese Anime and incredible computer generated images. It is undeniable that the sensation of Japanese cartoon culture is very present in the lives of many all around the world. Television shows like Pokemon, DragonBall Z, Neon-Genisis Evangellion are so popular that not even the thousand or so episodes of a single series of these cartoons is enough to forfill our desire for them. It is also undeniable that the wonderful world of computer imagery is the basis for most of the modern movie marvels!
The plot for “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” is nothing new belive it or not. The whole story is a clone of the Japanes Anime “Neon-Genesis Evangelion”. Once again the world is under seige by some strange mystical beings from another world. All the cities are destroyed and have the word “old” attatched to the front of them (“old New York”). Then we have the “New” cities protected by some fantastical defence mechanism that is never truly explained (“New New York”). The bond between the sience world and religious faith are once again melded into the story. The whole story is presented and the detail is left out. Why are they killing everyone? What exactly are the eight spirits? How did Aki become infected?. And of course the resolution to the story is in a combination of science and faith (searching for something intangable and never really explained) in opposition to the military aggresions of our human institution.
Now we move onto something that is all brand new… The special effects. This movie is absolutely amazing and certainly some scenes are so hard to swallow as being “fake” (they look so real) If I did not know any better I would argue they are real! Apparently one fifth of the budget was spent on making the heroines hair look real. Well what do you know it is one of the more brilliant features of this already amazing feet in technology. Skip this next part of the paragraph as it contains a few more indirect spoilers. The opening sequence of about 20 minutes was the highlight for me with everything from the eyes, to goosebumps, cars and skeletons, fireworks and rubble, human movement and action were absolutely 100% top rate animation and so real I forgot I was in essence watching a cartoon!
The movie does have it faults, with the apparent lack of story-line detail that is always ever-present in Japanese Anime and the sometimes jerky body movements and unrealistic mouth movement I sometimes writhed in my seat wishing it was done a little better. Having said that, if you miss this movie I can do nothing but say “Your missing out on an amazing experience”. I do beleive in the next ten years or so we will have a whole line of fully digital movies, getting better and better as they come along. So if this was extraordinary, amazing, detailed animation… Then I wait in anticipation for what will come next.
You may not like the movie, and I may not have given it too many stars, but the imagery will blow you away.