YMMV / Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: The banter between Neil and Jane is either just friendly, or he could be flirting with her. Notably when she tells him to get a girlfriend, he winks and says "I'm working on it" - and alludes to Jane always picking on him in a Tsundere way.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: An adaptation of a popular RPG video game series, that doesn't actually adapt any of the games' stories or characters? Many people suggest that the backlash wouldn't have been as severe if 'Final Fantasy' wasn't in the title.
  • Cliché Storm: Despite its setting and premise, the characters are widely felt to be pretty cliched - especially General Hein, Dr Cid and Gray.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Neil due to providing most of the comic relief. Steve Buscemi improvised most of his lines too.
  • Franchise Original Sin: This film was the beginning of the end of Square's dominance in the RPG video game market, even after they merged with Enix. Part of this also has to do with the technology necessitating longer development times for Final Fantasy games, the rise of others such as Bioware, and the Broken Base with some later games, which hit a tipping point in 2010 with Final Fantasy XIV.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Neil jokes about hoping to have kids, to which Jane responds "that's a spooky thought". Not so funny when Jane physically has to watch him die.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In light of Roger Ebert vs. video gamers, Ebert gave the film one of its best reviews, calling it revolutionary in terms of its visuals and giving it a 3.5-star review. In fact, Ebert has given more positive reviews to video game adaptations than any other major critic, with additional positive reviews for Hitman, the Tomb Raider films, and Mortal Kombat.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: By today's standards, the animation (especially facial) is nothing to write home about, but considering the film came out 3 years before the first movie in performance capture (The Polar Express)... well, at the time it was pretty damn impressive. It certainly scared the hell out of the Screen Actors' Guild when it released, who sent a few representatives out to talk to media outlets about how they didn't support the burgeoning rise of "virtual actors."
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The film's not-so-subtle anti-war message, and in a way, it has to be obvious to get past the visual effects and music.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: A variation. Plenty of Final Fantasy fans were annoyed that it wasn't an adaptation of their favourite game and hated it for being a standalone story.
  • Uncanny Valley: A worthy first effort, but...
  • Vindicated by History: Didn't do that well with critics or audiences when it came out. These days it's got a lot more fans, who praise the Scenery Porn and overall story. It's bordering on Cult Classic as the years go by.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: While not quite as good as the hype was promising, lots of effort was put into the effects for the film, and some parts are quite impressive.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The Phantoms are stuck in a dream-like state, lashing out at everything around them, unsure of what is reality. The larger beasts are just gigantic wildlife that have no idea what's going on as well.
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