When I realized it was playing only five minutes from my house, I decided to see Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. Fans seemed to love it and I appreciate that. Considering the recent delay to Final Fantasy XV I thought this might be a nice way to sate myself in the meantime. It was not.
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is the worst movie to be released this year. Anyone who enjoys even the most basic “filmic” qualities of a movie will struggle to find anything worthy of redemption here.
Its plot is incoherent and few of the characters are motivated to do anything beyond what the script demands. We’re told early that Niflheim wants the power of Lucis’s crystal, and have invaded. And that makes them evil, but we never actually see them being evil. In fact, over the bloated 110-minute runtime, so many characters defect to Niflheim, I could be reasonably convinced that Lucis is as bad as everyone says they are.
The plot could have been resolved in dozens of ways at dozens of times had it not been for random bouts of unmotivated convulsions and mutterings that might be confused as acting. Looking back, I’m not certain why his movie exists. It feels like the only reason it exists is because approximately two hours of cut scenes were cut from Final Fantasy XV and assembled into a movie.
There’s a language to film. Shots should be limited to important information. Frames should contain all the action, sound should be used to enhance and give life. Breaking those conventions can have interesting and powerful implications. Instead, Kingsglaive does so with no point. At best these breaks feel like errors and at worst, amateurish.
A key example of this is the voice acting and sound editing. Character’s voices contain no trace of the sonic qualities that accompany voices in a live action film. There’s no echo or direction to them. They seem to emanate from everywhere, at different volumes, and with as little inflection as possible. The voices are so poorly edited and inserted into the film its uncomfortably obvious they were recorded on different days and the actors might never have met.
While it’s not totally unusual for many animated movies to record actors separately, it is unusual for that film to make no effort to disguise the fact. It often does not sound like the voices are coming from two people standing in the same room as opposed to a soundboard with incorrect levels.
However, no amount of editing could have made up for how poor the quality of the acting is. I found myself actively rooting for characters to die based on how tolerable their voice actor. I was always disappointed.
Perhaps the worst thing about Kingsglaive is that it makes me want to play Final Fantasy XV less. It’s not that the film is bad, it’s that its poorly made. If even half of this lack of quality is found in Final Fantasy XV then all we’ll see in November is a buggy, broken mess that can barely even be called a video game.