I wasn't expecting much from this film based on Squeenix's track record in film making. Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within was a fine experiment and a revolutionary piece of animation for its time, but it was far from a great film and highlighted how difficult it is to tell a complex and fulfilling story in a 2 hour time frame rather than the dozens of hours a role playing game is allotted. Final Fantasy 7 - Advent Children was another uptick in the advancement of CG and a great action piece, but it was ultimately nostalgia porn for those of us who loved the original game. Kingsglaive - Final Fantasy 15 is a leap in terms of the animation quality, all but eliminating the ability to discern between animation and reality, but it's also a product of experience. Finally, the writers, animators, producers and directors at Square Enix have acquired the experience to harness the advantages of the medium and have delivered a film that I wish I could have seen on the big screen.
Not only does this movie setup Final Fantasy 15 brilliantly, it's a damn good film in its own right. It has just the right mix of suspense, action and drama and was surprisingly well written and voice acted (including an all-star English voice cast.) It's a shame that it didn't get a wide theater release in North America, because I didn't see a preview for a single summer movie in 2016 that could compete with this film.