Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA/Japan, 2001. Chris Lee Productions, Square Company, Square USA. Story by Hironobu Sakaguchi, Screenplay by Al Reinert, Jeff Vinter, additional dialogue by Jack Fletcher. Cinematography by Motonori Sakakibara. Produced by Jun Aida, Chris Lee, Akio Sakai. Music by Elliot Goldenthal. Production Design by Mauro Borrelli. Film Editing by Christopher S. Capp. Online Film Critics Awards 2001.
Shamefully, the first film to be done with completely realistic three-dimensional animation is saddled with a script that is flat as a board. The voices of Ming-Na Wen, Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi and Donald Sutherland (among others) do more than competent jobs of bringing to life the characters of the popular video game (which was conceived after the film was, giving you an idea of how long it has taken to get the thing to the big screen), but are given no character depth and a plot that is far too confusing and explains nothing of itself. The story follows Dr. Aki Ross as she skilfully manoeuvres her way through a post-apocalyptic America in search of spirits that will heal her wounded body that was attacked by alien phantoms long ago. The phantoms now rule the world, forcing its human survivors into protected cities who have no idea how to deal with the seemingly invulnerable attackers. Bad guy James Woods thinks all they need is a gun big enough; Ross knows that there is something more spiritual involved, and she and her little cult of Gaia theorists (people who believe that the earth and everything on it has a spirit) intend on proving themselves right. Not a waste of time for anyone to sit and watch it, but don’t expect to be too thrilled: this film is all technical wizardry and no feeling.