A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is basically one big promo for the Final Fantasy XV video game. The movie's plot serves as a prequel to the game, introducing key characters and settings and leaving off right where the game begins. Even those new to the Final Fantasy franchise will understand the main storyline, but only diehard fans will understand the finer details. Violence is shown as the only means of conflict resolution, and there's a lot of it. Characters use an arsenal of guns, magic, and swords to slay their adversaries, and corpses are shown (not much gore, though). Language is infrequent but includes "ass" and "bastard." The cast includes several positive role models, but their effectiveness is undermined by the movie's confusing plot and clichéd writing.
What's the story?
In KINGSGLAIVE: FINAL FANTASY XV, the cruel and technologically advanced empire of Niflheim has taken over all other nations of Eos besides the kingdom of Lucis. King Regis (voiced by Sean Bean) has kept his nation safe through his magic powers and crystal, but Niflheim is drawing ever closer to the walls of his crown city. Regis decides to sign a peace treaty, surrendering everything but the crown city to Niflheim and wedding his son to the former princess of Tenebrae. The Kingsglaive, a team of elite soldiers who've been given magic by the king, has been sworn to protect the king and Lucis from all threats and will be disbanded after the treaty is signed. But Nyx (Aaron Paul), a proud member of the Kingsglaive, and his friends realize the treaty is a lie; now they must rescue the crown city and the princess before it's too late.
Is it any good?
This animated adventure's amazing visuals are stunning, but the incoherent plot, poor writing, and dull action will leave you snoring. While understanding every bit of the story would involve prior knowledge of the Final Fantasy franchise, any viewer will notice that Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV has some serious flaws. The plot has far too many story elements that fall flat, and many characters seemed shoehorned in (even though they'll appear in the follow-up game). The main characters are somewhat likeable, as their actions are noble, but their cookie-cutter personalities immediately become stale. Action scenes are plentiful, but after the first couple teleportation battles and giant sword fights, they quickly become nothing more than flashing colors and cheesy one-liners.
All of that said, many viewers may be blown away by the film's amazing animation. The previous Final Fantasy movies have always been eye candy, but Kingsglaive's photo-realistic animation, mixed with fluid camera motion, will leave give your eyes a sugar high like never before. Fans of the series will be absolutely delighted with the gorgeous visualization of their beloved series and will be eager what to see what comes next in the game Final Fantasy XV.
Talk to your kids about ...
How does the movie depict selflessness? Why do you think Nyx sacrifices everything to keep his new home safe? Why does Princess Lunafreya Nox Fleuret agree to marriage even though it will doom her home to the rule of Niflheim?
What do you think it takes to adapt a video game story into a movie? Talk about storytelling tactics and which other video games you'd like to see on the big screen.
Talk about the ads both inside and surrounding the film. Does watching a video game-based movie change the way you think about the game and/or make you want to buy the game? Did your family notice the various product placements in the film? If so, did you feel influenced by it?
- In theaters: August 19, 2016
- On DVD or streaming: October 4, 2016
- Cast: Aaron Paul, Lena Headey, Sean Bean
- Director: Takeshi Nozue
- Studio: Stage 6 Films
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: fantasy violence and action throughout
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.