Kingsglaive suffers from poor voice acting, a confusing storyline and underdeveloped characters, making it one of the worst Final Fantasy movies in years.
At the time of Kingsglaive release, Final Fantasy XV isn’t out and the upcoming Japanese role-playing game won’t be out for a few months. Releasing a movie based on game hasn’t been released yet feels like putting the cart before the horse and sadly, that’s not its only problem, since Kingsglaive is a pompous yet shallow film that only those who know every tidbit about the upcoming role-playing game will be able to understand what’s happening on the screen. But even if you meet those awfully specific requirements, this adaptation suffers from poor voice acting, a confusing storyline and underdeveloped characters, making it one of the worst Final Fantasy movies in years.
Let’s get this out of the way, Kingsglaive is one of the best looking computer-generated movies ever made. Like Spirits Within back in the early 2000s (ironically, another animated movie based on Final Fantasy,) this movie sets a new standard for the genre. Characters, settings and environmental effects look convincing and you can tell that no expense was spared for this adaptation and that shows in pretty much every scene.
But unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the rest of the film. First, the story doesn’t make a lot of sense and there are several references to Final Fantasy XV and some specific moments, enemies or characters from classic Final Fantasy games. So if you haven’t been following the franchise closely, some events will go way over your head.
For those unfamiliar, Kingsglaive takes place parallel to the events of the game, focusing on affairs that revolve around Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII (father of Noctis, playable character and protagonist from the game.) The problem is that we don’t know that much about the film’s characters characters. From the moment the movie starts, we see them fighting against some gargantuan creatures, but we don’t know what motivates them to do that. Little changes as the movie goes on and at one point I lost interest in the characters and everything that happened around them.
The story’s forgettable and so is the voice acting. This is an aspect where you could see that the company behind the movie was really trying to do something that would appeal to the masses. Some of the voice actors have worked in some of the most popular TV shows of the past few years, including Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad and Lena Headey and Sean Bean from Game of Thrones. But instead of making the characters sound special, these performances will remind you of those TV series which makes the while thing unremarkable and uninspired.
But there are some things to like here and there: the action scenes, even when you’re not entirely sure what’s happening, look terrific. There were moments where I couldn’t tell if I was watching a CGI movie or a live-action one and that’s impressive, especially in this day and age where there are so many animated films.
Maybe it’ll all make sense once Final Fantasy XV is out and we’ve all played it, but for now, Kingsglaive is a shallow and uninspired adaptation that few people will enjoy. This animated adaptation feels like a marketing gimmick that promotes the role-playing game and little else. The movie tries to achieve that with different bells and whistles (pristine CGI, references to classic Final Fantasy games, recognized actors, well-choreographed action scenes and more,) but that’s not enough to make Kingsglaive a movie worth watching.