Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Rated 3.0 Survivors of a ravaged Earth battle a species of ghostly alien invaders. Another computer game hits the big screen, but unlike Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, this one is entirely computer-animated in a photorealistic style, and much of the animation is truly stunning. On the down side, Al Reinert and Jeff Vintar’s script mixes standard videogame exploits with pseudo-science and superstitious mumbo-jumbo—something about the Eight Spirits and Gaia the soul of Mother Earth. Worse, the characters are frankly boring—directors Hironobu Sakaguchi, Moto Sakakibara and Andy Jones may have mastered explosions and clanking machinery, but facial expressions and lip movements still elude them. Even so, there’s an almost evangelical, wave-of-the-future excitement to the film, promising more and better to come.