‘KINGSGLAIVE’ (2016) Movie Review – Like Cutscenes and a Game… Without the Game

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‘Kingsglaive’ is an Action/Adventure film set in the world of Final Fantasy XV that tells the story of King Regis and his Kingsglaive in their attempts to prevent the empire from gaining ultimate power and taking over the world. The film includes an all star cast, great CGI animation, and very entertaining action sequences in a FF style, but it is very very far from a good film. There is a decent plot that plays out here and there are brief moments where you are able to get it, the problem with this film is that it isn’t actually much of a film and more of a 2 hour cluster of long cutscenes, so the story isn’t given the time to really develop or explain itself. The pacing was all over the shop, scene transitions and brief time jumps were awkwardly executed and distracting, and the entire middle portion of the film was hard to pay attention to. I feel like they had lots of trouble adjusting from the style of storytelling in a video-game to something suitable for a feature length film. It really is a shame because a lot could have been done with this story and these characters and there is enough content here to make for a really good film, but the overall execution was utter garbage.

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The two long action set-pieces in this film, one at the beginning and one at the end were the most entertaining sections of the film by a long shot. They in themselves were two long cutscenes but unlike the rest of the film these sections were very cohesive and engaging and had me wanting to see more. The way the action scenes were presented was very fluid, fast, and what you would expect from a FF cinematic battle. They were the only scenes in the movie i think that would engage someone who has no interest or knowledge of the FF franchise. The entire middle portion of this film was not good at all, the cohesiveness of the story and the character development they tried to explore ended up being a disaster. At times it felt like i was watching cutscenes from a video-game without the gameplay in between, making it very hard to stay focused.

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The voice talent was a big selling point for this film to draw in external audiences. Aaron Paul, Lena Heady, and Sean Bean were the big names used to sell this film and honestly they made next to no impact on my enjoyment of the film. I guess their performances were ok but the film just doesn’t give you a chance to get attached to any characters. So any emotional impact the actors put into their performances was pointless in the end as the film doesn’t do a good job of representing its characters enough for you to get to know them. Even the protagonist Nyx Ulrich (Aaron Paul) felt like ‘cut and paste hero #73’ and really didn’t have any defining character traits you could attach to.

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So in the end, this attempt by Square Enix to create a film that teases FFXV and gets fans caught up with events that occur prior to the game (i think) was relatively successful. Fans of the game would get something out of this simply due to the words ‘Final Fantasy’ being in the title. But the truth is this is far from a film, taking cutscenes from a game and slapping them together doesn’t make a good film, so neither does this. There isn’t anything here to draw mainstream audiences to see this film, and it really is a missed opportunity. I do not recommend this film for general audiences, and if you are a FF fan then i guess i don’t need to tell you whether you should see this or not, because you already have.

3.7/10

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