Semi-nonspoiler review: "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within"

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Wed Jul 11 2001 - 19:51:08 MDT

Don't bother.

[Some very abstract discussion follows; nothing I would count as a real
spoiler, but still information about the movie.]

You know how, if you keep a tiger in a cage for five years, and finally
let the tiger out of the cage, the tiger will pace back and forth within a
space that exactly matches the confines of the cage?

They left our reality, did all their filmmaking inside a world of
unlimited possibilities, and with that omnipotence they did... nothing.
Nothing new, at any rate; nothing that hasn't already been done in other
movies. The one exception to this is their depiction of the
human-computer interaction in the Graphical User Interface of the future,
which I thought was excellent, considerably exceeding the depiction I've
seen in any other movie. Some other bits of technology, while not perhaps
beyond what we've seen in other movies, looked much more at home in this
world and consequently more impressive. But that's it. As redeeming
features go, it isn't nearly enough to make up for THE PLOT.

We now have a new problem, people: computer-generated Luddites.

Excuse me. I have to go watch "The Matrix" - a movie, one notes, that
comes down heavily on the "red" side in the cosmic battle between red and
blue - to get the bad taste out of my mind.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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