Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV Review

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Final Fantasy games have always been known for their cinematic in-game cutscenes. Unfortunately, when Square Enix attempts to create films on their own it’s hit-or-miss. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was a box office and critical disaster. It was years until their second attempt with the more successful Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Now, Square Enix has put together a film as part of a larger “Final Fantasy XV Universe” with Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. Is Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV another step in the right direction for Square Enix or is it back to square one for the studio?

Fortunately, the Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is a perfect summer-like film with an immense amount of action and entertainment. There are certain issues that need to be worked out but Kingsglaive is a lot of fun.

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV follows King Regis and his Kingsglaive as they try to protect the kingdom of Lucis from the invading empire of Niflheim. Faced with insurmountable odds, Regis accepts an armistice with Niflheim on the condition that Regis’ son, Noctis, marries Lady Lunafreya Nox Fleuret of the imperial province of Tenebrae. However, as Nyx Ulric finds out, there are more devious things afoot behind-the-scenes.

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As it is the case with all Final Fantasy animated films, Square Enix constantly pushes the boundaries on how realistic animated characters can be. For fans of the franchise, watching Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is similar to watching a 2-hour in-game cutscene. There is an impressive amount of detail in the film that’s incredibly realistic. From the hair to facial animation to the textures, they’re all so realistic. However, it’s the action sequences and cinematography is the pièce de résistance of the film. They are as dynamic and breathtaking in the film as they are in the video games. It has the look and feel of an action-packed summer blockbuster.

However, there are some questionable editing choices in the film. There are several times where a scene would end with a fade-to-black or a hard cut to black which does mess up the flow of the film. Fortunately, these most of these occurrences happen during the first act of the film. Once the film picks up then it’s full steam ahead towards its conclusion.

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is more than just a pretty face, though. Kingsglaive is a good companion piece to not only the upcoming video game but anime (Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV) as well. The story by Takashi Hasegawa is a tight one but a bit on the simple and predictable side.

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Unfortunately, the characters aren’t as memorable as you’d like. Even during moments where the film is establishing the characters, there is no real connection to be made between you and the characters. The only exception is Sean Bean as King Regis Lucis Caelum, the ruler of Lucis. That’s the magic of Sean Bean’s regal voice. Maybe it’s the throwback feeling of hearing Sean Bean in a kingly role again, but King Regis is the best and most humanly character in the film.

Aaron Paul is also a great choice for Nyx Ulric, as well. While you might expect to hear Jesse Pinkman, Aaron Paul is able to distance himself away from Pinkman and able to give a lived-in performance. Paul’s able to use his voice to make Ulric courageous and assured. Unfortunately, Lena Headey gives a very reserved performance as Lunafreya Nox Fleuret. Headey gives a semi-confident portrayal but the performance is very monotone. In addition, for a princess, she doesn’t give a regal or commanding portrayal.

Overall, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is an action-packed piece of animation that’s as entertaining as a summer blockbuster. It’s sleek, boisterous, and, all in all, an entertaining and engaging film. However, its sleekness comes at the price of an intricate plot. Here, the characters are not fully developed and the story is simple and predictable. It’s not distracting per se, nor is it the type of film to over analyze. Rather, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is the kind of film where you kick back, unwind, and enjoy the ride.

Rating: 4/5 atoms
4-Atoms

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1616 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.