Picks and Pans Review: Final Fantasy
Animated, with voices by Alec Baldwin, Ming-Na, Ving Rhames, James Woods
This sci-fi thriller, based on a series of bestselling video games, may be bad news for temperamental stars prone to hissy fits. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within shows that computer-generated animation has reached a level where it can create nearly lifelike humans. As with generic cola, these digitized folks aren't quite the real thing, but close enough to be simultaneously thrilling and creepy. They also know their lines, stay out of rehab and don't demand private jets.
Fantasy is set in 2065, when Earth has been invaded by soul-sucking aliens. Dr. Aki Ross (voiced by Ming-Na), a feisty scientist, joins forces with her soldier sweetie (Baldwin) to save the planet from the extraterrestrial menace. The plot is musty and the dialogue stilted, but the look is dazzling. Fantasy's shiny humans still appear more like store mannequins who have come to life, but time and technology are on their side. (PG-13)
Bottom Line: Eye-popping future schlock