Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
While many Final Fantasy fans are mourning over the delay for Square Enix’s 15th installment of the video game franchise, they can at least rest easy in knowing that they will still have a CGI-motion capture movie tied to the game coming out soon. Will fans celebrate or fall further into their slump over Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV? Read on for our official review!
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV sets the stage for what’s to come when Final Fantasy XV eventually comes out. It begins with a history lesson over the rival nations of Lucis and Niflheim. The background explains how the militarized empire of Niflheim had begun a campaign, several years prior, to conquer the world that included the magical city of Insomnia. What makes Insomnia so special? It’s home to Lucis’ King Regis (Sean Bean) and the powerful Crystal. As the city is about to be under siege, King Regis uses the Crystal to form a barrier around Insomnia and keep Niflheim at bay, for a short time.
The film takes place several years after these events, with the war still raging on. We are introduced to the film-entitled Kingsglaive, a magical special forces that borrow the power of King Regis and the Crystal to battle Niflheim and defend Insomnia. Our main character, Nyx Ulric, (Aaron Paul) is your prototypical rebel who lives by his own rules and has a never-say-quit attitude. His life changes when Niflheim and Lucis agree to a sensitive treaty and he becomes the guard to Lady Lunafreya (Lena Headey), princess of Tenebrae, Niflheim’s hostage, and the betrothed to Final Fantasy XV main character, Prince Noctis. Nyx’s destiny culminates to an explosive finale that changes the war between Lucis and Niflheim forever.
Story-wise, Kingsglaive does a good job bridging the movie with the game. The whole reason behind even making all this content for Final Fantasy XV is because Square Enix created a story too big for its own game. Therefore, the movie is necessary to fully understand the war going on around Noctis and his band of brothers. In fact, the movie even explains why Noctis isn’t in Insomnia for the entirety of Kingsglaive.
That being said, Kingsglaive is riddled with annoying plotholes that barely advance the plot of the movie. For instance, they kill off a character for apparently no reason in order to spur a rebellion for one of the Kingsglaive. However, I couldn’t quite figure out what his contribution to the rebellion even was or what the rebellion was, for that matter. The whole plot was completely unnecessary and made no significant contribution to the film. It got even worse when they introduced a character, who we literally knew nothing about, only to kill him off as an example of how powerful an artifact was. We knew more about the main bad guy in Indiana Jones who gets his face melted off from the Ark of the Covenant than we did of that character.
Another weak aspect of Kingsglaive is their motion capturing for the CGI film. There were plenty of times where it’s overtly obvious that the character’s mouth and voice didn’t match up. It was especially jarring for Libertus, an angry, portly member of the Kingsglaive. Meanwhile, on the action side of Kingsglaive they do a better job of making an explosive experience. The freedom that they had by having it be a CGI-Animated film allowed them to do more with magic, combat, and the colossuses that are featured. In saying that, it should be understood that there are several times where they go too fast with it, making the sequence become a blurry mess.
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV features a cast of three heavy-hitting actors in Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul as Nyx Ulric and Game of Thrones alum Sean Bean as King Regis and Lena Headey as Lady Lunafreya. The most recognizable of the three was Bean who did a tremendous job, even if it was only by voice. I love the way he stole each scene with his delivery. He was by far one of the best parts of the film. Paul’s Nyx took a bit to recognize. He does a nice job of masking his voice, selflessly creating a unique character in Nyx. At first, I didn’t like really like his character. It was too stiff, too stereotypical. However, his character becomes a lot more enjoyable throughout the film. I left the film wanting him to be a character in XV. As for Headey’s Lady Lunafreya, she’s a ballsy, princess of the people who would rather die than do nothing for the Lucis people. However, her character seemed forgettable at times. Sure, things revolve around her in the second act but as far as memorable characters, Lunafreya didn’t cut it. I just wasn’t able to get much depth of character. Moreover, her “bold” moves often made no sense and were likely to get her into more trouble than good.
Overall, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is more of a necessary watch than a must-watch. It just makes sense to watch it on a story-bridging level. It’s got its problems in terms of plot and unnecessary moments but it has enough action and mystic to call it a Final Fantasy movie, unlike Spirits Within. For anyone excited for Final Fantasy XV, you’ll enjoy the film because you get to know more of the story. It becomes an added bonus too since the game has already been delayed passed its September 30 release date. If you’re just watching it because you’re a Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones enthusiast, you’ll enjoy hearing the sultry voice of Sean Bean while witnessing beautiful graphics that can only be in something Final Fantasy.