This movie was previously reviewed by Joshua Piedra back in July, via a fansub of the movie. This review is based off of the North American retail version, supplied by Viz Media for review. Feel free to use Josh’s review as a reference point, as I will NOT be recapping the movie, but providing my thoughts on the movie as a whole.
It’s bad…to a point.
The Last: Naruto the Movie is just another in a long string of uninspiring work from the Kishimoto camp, and the convoluted plot points in this movie certainly don’t help it’s case any. However, when you get down to what this movie is really about, it doesn’t seem half as bad as it presents itself.
If you didn’t get a chance to see Josh’s review of the movie, click here for the complete synopsis of the movie, but for the benefit of those with flash photography, here’s the ClintNotes version of the plot:
The moon’s falling to Earth and Hinata’s the key to all of this, while Naruto has to man up and admit he wants to be Hinata’s man, all while stopping Toneri from ending the Earth’s existence.
If you read up to “Naruto has to man up and admit he wants to be Hinata’s man,” and stopped, dude, you’ve pretty much got the plot of this movie. Toneri’s involvement is simply a plot device to get to that point, and it may just be the most annoying part of this movie, as touching as the idea of Naruto and Hinata finally getting together after YEARS of “teasing” in the anime.
Also, the plot holes in this movie left quite a few things scratching my head throughout the movie, such as the idea of battling on the moon, after so many established cases of suffocation via lack of air during the anime, or the idea of destroying the moon, because, you know, to hell with balance and gravity, right?
Outside of that, the final conciliation of the Naruto/Hinata eternal love chase, inclusive of the flashbacks to the interactions between Hinata and Naruto, might have saved this movie for me on several different occasions. It might have been the only reason I didn’t turn off The Last: Naruto the Movie, and that’s something I’m absolutely thankful for.
As for the art direction, it needed some work. With all the work put in to the beginning and ending sequences, you would have thought that the whole thing would be consistent. Right?
Wrong. In full agreement with Josh’s assessment of the art direction, I’ll just quote his review:
The CG was amazing and the effects were glorious. Then we transition to the actual film and the animation only seems slightly above normal TV animation quality. Then there are times when the animation budget really shines, such as the fight scenes as well as the Hinata kidnapping sequence, but when there’s no action going on, it just looks like a slightly better shaded version of the anime.
The Last: Naruto the Movie isn’t impressive from a story standpoint. Does it have flashes of brilliance? Oh yeah, it does, but they’re too few and far in between the ho-hum nature of this movie. For what it wanted to accomplish, it fell flat on it’s face, with no real recovery in immediate sight. I’d say to avoid this movie if you’re not a fan of the series.
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