Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within
Genre: Action & Adventure
IMDB Rating: 3.5 (472 votes)
Studio: Sony Pictures
Starring: Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Keith David, Matt McKenzie, Ving Rhames
Summary: Earth is a desolate wasteland in "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within". Humanity has been decimated by an invasion of Phantoms, insubstantial aliens that extract and devour the spirits of living things. The few remaining humans have retreated to a handful of cities that are protected by massive bio-energy shields. The beautiful Dr. Aki Ross (voiced by Ming-Na) and her mentor Dr. Sid (Donald Sutherland) have discovered that the energy signatures of eight key Earth spirits can cancel out and destroy the Phantoms. With the help of Captain Edwards (Alec Baldwin) and his band of marines, they must scour the globe for the last two remaining spirits before General Hein (James Woods) manipulates the refugee government into attacking the aliens with an orbital laser that may also destroy the Earth.
Hironobu Sakaguchi's film is taken from the popular "Final Fantasy" video game franchise, which is particularly well suited to film adaptation with its series of original stories, but the movie features entirely new characters and settings. And like "Toy Story" and "Shrek", "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" is completely computer generated. Unlike those cartoon comedies, though, "The Spirits Within" is a serious science fiction drama with astonishingly human digital actors. Aki, the female lead, appeared in a full-page spread in "Maxim" magazine's Hot 100 list--and was indistinguishable from the real-life models. The setting and conflict make for incredible action, but it's the larger issues, character interaction, and human elements that really make the movie shine. "The Spirits Within" is not simply a science fiction movie, in the same way that "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" is not simply a kung fu flick. The result is a fantastic summer movie with better action and more emotion than "Pearl Harbor", and actors more lifelike than those in that other video game movie, "Tomb Raider". "--Mike Fehlauer"