It seems like more and more video games are being adapted into movie. Earlier this year, we saw “Warcraft,” which wasn’t well-received by critics but got a generally positive response from fans. “Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV” plays a different role besides adaptation. It serves as more of a setup to the game that is coming out later this year. While it has things to be admired, such as the phenomenal CGI, it is ultimately a movie in which perhaps only fans of the video game would enjoy.

The empire of Niflheim wages war against the kingdom of Lucis in order to win a magic which the king of Lucis possesses. This magic manifests itself in a ring which has been passed down through a succession of kings and it’s been used to protect the kingdom. To guard the kingdom and fight the empire, the king employs the kingsglaive, a special crew of soldiers whose magical abilities are donated by the king. However, members in the kingsglaive begin to question the rule of their king because their families, who live outside the borders of the capital and, as a result, aren’t protected by any magic, are being conquered by Niflheim.

“Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV” is less of a full-fledged entity on its own and serves better as a prequel. Meaning that if you don’t intend on playing the game, a lot of the story threads presented in the film won’t be heavily weighted. One of the main characters appearing in the game, the prince, is referred to a lot in the movie, but never actually introduced. The film also kills off one of the two female characters early on and general diversity is sorely lacking, something that is blatantly obvious throughout.

For someone who has never been a hard core gamer, but has watched and been around gamers and understands many aspects, “Kingsglaive” is largely similar to playing a game without being directly involved in it. Most of the story is easy to follow once you wrap your head around certain aspects, but it’s ultimately the characters and their connections to each other that fall short. There isn’t much personality or depth to any of them and when they interact, it’s less than satisfactory. Even the voice dubbing is a bit off-sync throughout.

Many fans might find the story to be aligned with their expectations but, as a film, what “Kingsglaive” truly excels at is the graphics. The CGI is beautiful and impressive. If one were to watch out of the corner of their eye or from afar, it’s easy to confuse these characters with actual people. The design and detail to the city and the characters are impressive and wondrous to look at. But as stated earlier, unless prepared to play the game that will follow, “Kingsglaive” isn’t something worth being invested in.

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Underwhelming

While "Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV" has things to be admired, such as the phenomenal CGI, but it is ultimately a movie in which perhaps only fans of the video game would enjoy.

2.5star

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About Author

Mae is a Washington, DC-based film critic, entertainment journalist and Weekend Editor at Heroic Hollywood. A member of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), she's a geek who loves discussing movies and TV. She is also a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. If she's not at the movies, she's catching up on her superhero TV-watching, usually with a glass of wine in hand.

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