Main cast: Aaron Paul (Nyx Ulric), Sean Bean (King Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII), Lena Headey (Lunafreya Nox Fleuret), David Gant (Emperor Iedolas Aldercapt), Adrian Bouchet (Titus Drautos), and Liam Mulvey (Libertus Ostium)
Director: Takeshi Nozue
Don’t worry, there are no fourteen movies that came before Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. This is, instead, a companion movie to the upcoming Final Fantasy XV video game, acting as a prequel. I have little familiarity with the whole Final Fantasy thing, but I can get this movie just fine, so I think folks unfamiliar with it would too. You see, this movie contains tropes heavily borrowed from popular science fiction movies and stories, so it is easy to fill in the blanks with what you know from those movies and stories.
We have two warring nations in a world that blends technology and magic. Lucis is all about magic and peace, ruled by King Regis Lucium Caelum CXIII, while the more military Niflheim is all about big spacecrafts and scorched earth conquests, ruled by, of course, an Emperor named Iedolas Aldercapt. Iedolas is a deceptively genial old coot who snarls and says smarmy things when he’s feeling smug – oh, I’m sure he doesn’t remind people of anyone at all, oh no. Anyway, Lucis is basically reduced to the king and his aides cowering in the capital, Insomnia, while the Kingsglaive refers to the army of soldiers trained to use magic to defend the nation from Niflheim troops.
Lucis is fighting a losing war, however, so in the end the King reluctantly accepts an offer from the Emperor: Niflheim will get all Lucis territory aside from Insomnia (which is protected by a magical shield controlled by the King – a shield that the Niflheim troops can’t break through even with their superior weapons of mass destruction), and they will leave Insomnia alone. Regis hopes to buy time for himself and his son, and he has a plan. His son is to marry Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, the princess of a kingdom long conquered by Niflheim, under orders from the Emperor himself, but Regis hopes to sneak Lunafreya to a safe place to marry his son, away from the Emperor’s influence, The Emperor has his own hidden motives, of course.
Caught in the middle of the mess will be the Kingsglaive Nyx Ulric, who is charged to protect Lunafreya as the princess attracts all kinds of trouble, and if trouble doesn’t come to her, she’d literally fly to find some.
Oh boy, this movie. I have to warn you: it is edited by people who seem to have ADHD, because scenes zig-zag past at such ridiculous speed that I can only fear for people who get seasick easily if they happen to watch this movie. I can keep up somewhat, but that’s because, I suspect, I’m used to this kind of pacing in video games. Even then, I have a hard time actually following the mayhem in the last half hour. Let’s ijust say that many things get blown up and there are two kaijus battling it out while our hero and the villain duke it out in high speed among the whole thing. Good luck following what is happening there.
The characters are shallow, but Nyx is pretty decent as the one-dimensional hero who bravely does what he feels is right without wavering. Regis is a rather interesting fellow as a king who does what he feels is right for himself and his son, even if it means sacrificing his people – the villain rails at the king for this, and I can’t say I feel that he is completely wrong there. Everyone else is just here to fill up space, except for Lunafreya, who is just there to play the damsel in distress that says some of the most insipid, shallow platitudes ever. Even Counselor Troi would cringe in embarrassment on her behalf – Lunafreya is utterly useless for the most part of the movie.
Oh, and for a definitive ending, you’d need to wait for someone to upload all the cutscenes of the game onto YouTube, if playing the game isn’t something you’d like to do. Me, personally, I dislike the combat system so I could never get into those games myself.
Anyway, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is a standard sci-fi action flick, with some very beautifully rendered scenes and animation… well, beautiful, that is, if the movie pauses long enough to let the audience take in the scene, which doesn’t happen often. The story itself is shallow and even hackneyed at places, and I doubt I’d remember much about it a week or two down the road. This movie would do for some mind-numbing diversion on an afternoon, but don’t expect much of anything else.