the voices of:
Ming Na, Alec Baldwin, James Woods, etc.
| Directed By :
For those who think that the Final Fantasy name means this
film will have anything to do with the series of fantasy role
playing videogame series is to quickly be deceived. The only
thing that the two have in common is the fact that Hironobu
Sakaguchi and employees from Square put their time into it.
Yes, there are a handful of semi-hidden (and even one obvious)
reference to the videogame series, but other than that, this
movie should be considered wholly separate.
The Spirits Within begins late in the 21st Century,
over 30 years after a meteor has struck the Earth, infesting
it with Phantoms, ghost-like aliens who were passengers upon
the fiery rock when it slammed into the planet. These aliens
quickly waged war with the Earth, killing millions just by
passing through their bodies and removing their souls. To
counteract them, survivors now live in cities surrounded by
energy shells that repell them.
The main character, Aki Ross (Ming Na), is a scientist who
goes out among the ruined cities to find lifeforms which hold
"spirits", or energy wavelengths that can be used
to build an energy wave pattern to counteract the Phantoms.
She comes across Grey Edwards (Baldwin), a former love who's
squad rescues her from the Phantoms as she locates a spirit
in what used to be New York City. Not only is there conflict
between the Phantoms and the humans, but between the humans.
Dr. Sid (Donald Sutherland), who works with Aki to find the
spirits warns her not to let the others know of their theories
for fear that members of the military, particularly General
Hein (James Woods), will brand them for their spectacular
theories about the world around them.
A review about this film can't go unfinished without mentioning
the INSERT REALLY BIG ADJECTIVE HERE
animation. While for the most part you know it's done
by a computer, there are numerous segments where you have
to stop and wonder. Characters move fluidly and act like real
humans. The aged Dr. Sid is an amazing sight to behold, with
his consistently believable appearance. The voice acting is
pretty good, even with a few dry performances by Alec Baldwin
and James Woods. Steve Buschemi and Geri Pelpin provide fairly
good banter as side characters.
The Spirits Within is a well-paced science fiction
story that doesn't bog itself down with too much science reality.
Go and watch this to enjoy a visually excellent animated feature.
If you go to see it because you think it's another James Cameron
Aliens or Terminator, you'll be disappointed.
This film isn't overflowing with testasterone. In fact, the
theories about Gaia and the return of life-energy to the earth
may be too soft for most action-hungry, sci-fi fanatics. This
film requires a bit of imagination to enjoy.
While some of the characters were underdeveloped and the
plot twists might have been few, the overall package of this
film is well worth the effort to go see.