The negatives I came in expecting I definitely got: Awkward stints of character interaction — a combination of the computer animation and sub-par deliveries from secondary characters — a reliance on safe but overused one liners during combat, and a habit of marketing an upcoming game instead of creating a steady film, where at times a character seems to appear for the sake of players recognizing their reference in Final Fantasy XV come November 29th. Kingsglaive is a corny and haphazardly cut film, no denying it.
That said, I’m a sucker for warp action choreography and the action scenes do not disappoint in Kingsglaive. Members of the elite guard throw their blades out to thin air and warp to their weapon’s location. They teleport from air to ground, from mid leap to enemy, to the sides of airships — all over. From precision knife throws to bouts of desperate tossing in attempts to dodge or escape, the maneuver never fails to look sexy. Nyx, the main character especially, spoils the audience with beautifully rendered combos, throwing his blade in all manners and blinking across dramatic distances over and over again. I never got tired of it. Some have claimed the concept is hard to follow, but I think most videogame players or even anime veterans will understand and love it immediately.
Although this movie’s primary purpose gives backdrop to a game releasing later this year, you could watch it independently of those plans and still appreciate some of the concepts at work. Evil empire, old gods and botched treaty signings. A king whose personal guard draws power from his life force in order to wield magic. Freaky robots that bomb themselves dead limbed through windows, only to contort and animate upon landing. I think that’s enough to win over a certain crowd, and that’s without mentioning the megazord fights toward the end that easily blow Pacific Rim’s out of the water.
Final Fantasy XV: Kingsglaive alleviates some of my disappointment over its delayed game counterpart, and earns a 3/5 score from me. And maybe 3.5/5 because I’m fanboying hard over Crowe.