'Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV': Film Review

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Wait for the videogame.

The long-running Final Fantasy franchise teases its next installment with another big-screen outing.

A two-hour promotional film for an upcoming video game, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is so lacking in human interest, or even in merely satisfying action, it is difficult to imagine anyone wanting to pay to sit through it. What Takeshi Nozue's movie does offer is massive, vividly rendered landscapes of sci-fi/fantasy pastiche, home to mayhem that is prettier than it is involving. Given the nearly three-decade run of the eponymous gaming/media franchise, that may be sufficient to milk a few dollars from fans who are awaiting the actual game's November debut.

The movie is populated by CG-drawn characters who, despite being based on motion-capture tech, frequently move in distractingly artificial ways; their lips move roughly in time with the dialogue, but weirdly, as if each character's mouth was full of peanut butter. Few viewers would complain if they'd just keep their mouths shut entirely, though that would have deprived actors Aaron Paul, Lena Headey and Sean Bean of the paychecks they got for reading this dreck.

The plot concerns a city named Insomnia, protected by a vast wall from the war threatening its surrounding kingdom. The country's king has a magic "divine crystal," which grants unspecified powers to his personal guard, the Glaive. Explaining this much seems necessary, so readers will understand the picture's title; as for the rest, which involves a kidnapped princess, treacherous enemies, magic rings and the like, well, you've certainly heard it all before.

At one point, the King agrees to a humiliating treaty many of his supporters think is a terrible idea. Insomnia, the city, is supposed to be saved by this treaty. Insomnia, the sleep disorder, might permanently be cured by Kingsglaive.

Distributor: Sony Pictures
Production company: Square USA
Cast: Aaron Paul, Lena Headey, Sean Bean, Adrian Bouchet, Liam Mulvey
Director: Takeshi Nozue
Screenwriter: Takashi Hasegawa
Producer: Hajime Tabata
Composer: John R. Graham
Casting directors: Hannah Birkett, Rui Kawada, Gabriel Moszkowski

Rated PG-13, 115 minutes