Well, I never actually play FF7. I played FF XIII which I didn't think it was a great deal,neither a terrible one, and many FF old fans have tell me that FF XIII is square enix going downhill so it is like one of the worst games to said that I actually know in depth FF, I played chocobo racing and enjoying the heck of it, one crystal chronicles wich is not really part of the MAIN titles, as well one of the "sequels" life as darklord (demo). And 20 minutes of all the first six games, so nope, turn-based RPGs are not my thing, and I barely play games so I am far from consider myself a gamer, and more far from consider me a fan of FF, still, I see FF7 as a gem in games history because of all the impact that cause and still has, and because, in my childhood, I grew watching segments from FFVII to FFX while watching my brothers playing it, and I really miss those old fucking good days (fuck you Kirito who says people don't like watching people playing.) Not forgetting Nobou Uetmatsu, he is pure win. as well for the new Masashi Hamauzu that did a beatifull job with FXIII.
But as you can read, I am not entirely blind of what FF7 consist, I and recall why it is cool and why the fandom, the thing is that back then graphics, even in 3D, they were very abstract, your imagination fill the holes to make it even more awesome, the game is like 50 hours, so even if you play 45, which is a lot of immersion, you have, maybe 5 hours of a great story, so the experience is BIG!
Then a movie comes out, and your desires to watch a game that you love being an animated movie comes truth, an interpretation of the creators, of how it would look if everything was realistic due to the potential of modern animation, maybe far from being as cool as the same game, but just watching it like that, could make you fill just satisfied, and I know that feeling, I am a fan of Touhou and I love watching the professional level half hour of anime that the fans made even when knowing all my love is from already formed nostalgia and knowledge of the series since without it doesn't have much value. I think the same of this movie, the only ones who would truly enjoy it are the same fans of the game (how obvious), but without that, is far from being a big deal.
As far as the story goes, it remind me about what FF7 was about so I can understand everything that is happening, but watching the movie is like watching a shadow from the past that is not longer there, they tried to reminiscent so bad the game that the story felt forced. This happen, and later this happen, and things happen, but there is practically no conflict since everything is straightforward as hell, the tone and tension is almost identical through all the film, and is like if you asked for: what happens after the game? and they tell you without emotions everything that goes next.
The flashbacks and deus ex machina... damn! I know who Aerith is, she has the spotlight in one of the most shocking games scenes ever, almost anyone who watch it knows that. but they recall her a lot, maybe once or twice sounds neat, but she is practically the third character most important of the whole movie after Tifa, why!!!??? everything just felt so needy for the game, I know is an extension but it doesn't change the fact that they need to focus on the new story and not in how we make it to feel more closer to FF7, they already have the whole setting, characters and a whole respected story before, why not trying to exploring more deep in other aspects that the game might not haven't tried yet.
The character felt quite dry, Cloud was... very poor, according to the story, he must have been through a lot of emotions, and they really make you aware of that because of the flashbacks, but watching him and how he acts, I just don't get anything from him, I just know he will save the day and with a terrible Deus, as for Tifa, her boobs are somehow distracting, but I really not gonna start complaining about boobs, do I? she was more lively and more empathetic than Cloud, but still all so forced that I am not getting anything from her as well, we have 2 characters who's name I forgot who are just there for comic relief and rule of cool. The whole party is in the end, but they don't really bring something useful to the story but action and nostalgia, the three emo evil ones are avatars so, not really complete characters, just plot devices, the only ones I can give credit is for the kids, and they aren't that good neither.
The animation is what everything relays on to not be bad, It looks outstanding at first sight, I am not gonna lie. The character design feels right, bishounen style, but I like it, maybe the character movement felt very robotic at times, but it didn't affect the overall quality, the emotions are pretty cheesy with those huge cute puppy eyes of everyone but it it doesn't feels off. About everything else, it manage too look cool, but in technical aspects I don't like it much.
The settings are, booooring, loving those bright white trees, but it is so dull. Trees everywere, copy+paste again and again, and some pond. The city the same, I really tried hard to find diference between the big cranes and their position, they were almost identical, I know they want to be as the game, but: game=abstract, game=you feel the holes. The monsters... I can't complain they are all the same for each monster since in the game they are all the same for each monster, but I can complain they aren't as imposing as in the game, and that's because of the battle system.
In the game you have a default battle system so everything actually makes sense. A hard battle, you know it is hard because you are living the experience, it is turn based so it is for your imagination to imagine how it will be if it wasn't turn based. How the heck do you translate that into a film, I really don't know, but what they did in here was add the coolest fighting scenes disregarding how it was in the game, and it does look spectacular, but it doesn't help at all to the plot since you are watching for the sake of action, not for the sake of having sense in how do they fight, thereby, no character development. As a cool fact that this movie inspired them to create the battle system of XIII which might not be the best but it is pretty cool to watch.
Music... ahem Sound (Good)
The music was truly disappointing, I love Nobou and as a matter of fact I love the soundtrack, but alone! Those who fight in piano is superb, I could hear it a lot of times without getting tired, but here is just feel wrong, and more when they end with a cellphone with the fanfare ring-tone, that really piss me off, the one winged angel version for this was MAGNIFICENT! But it didn't help me to live the final battle a little bit more, I wanted to put start, go to the sound menu, turn down a little bit the FXs bar, which were great by the way, turn down a little bit the voice one too, that was cool too, and turn on the music bar all it could. The music barely did justice to the movie, not because it was bad, but because it didn't felt like if it was meant to be for the movie, is like taking Bohemian Rhapsody just because it is a milestone and putting it on a cool scene just for the fact that both are cool, sounds legit but doesn't works all the time, here is the example.