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Review

‘The Last: Naruto the Movie’ entertains despite poor plot

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March 25, 2015

Though it may have been a while after the fact, “The Last: Naruto the Movie” still lingers as an enjoyable film experience.

For the many who may not know, the Japanese comic and eventual television show “Naruto” has come to an end after years of action, plot twists, confusing motivations, and one overstretched final story arc.

This ninja series has seen fans come and go, and gone through a torrent of cheers and jeers, but it finally ended last November and put most of itself to an OK conclusion. But one thing that still got left out is exactly how our headstrong hero Naruto got to marry the series wallflower Hinata, whose affections for him lingered for over 500 chapters unresolved. Turns out you can make one more movie on that question alone in “The Last: Naruto the Movie.”

The plot is simple. It’s two years after the series ends. Our hero Naruto is the town hero after saving the world and he’s enjoying his fame. The quiet Hinata wants to finally show him how she feels. However, a new villain tied to Hinata’s past, kidnaps her sister to lure her into a trap that will ensure him the destruction of Earth’s moon. Naruto, along with some friends from the series now must track down this new enemy and bring his plans to an end, all the while Naruto has to come to terms with the feelings Hinata has for him.

If that doesn’t sound like an original plot to you, then don’t fret much. “The Last: Naruto the Movie” is not so much about the plot but really a set up to the eventual will-they-won’t-they reveal we all know is going to be resolved. You are not incorrect to assume that most people saw this film for that exact result. And that leads to a big point about this film that make it difficult for others to understand: only people aware of Naruto will go see this movie. In that regard, it makes it a tough film to refer anyone to unless they are at least aware of the comic series.

As far as the film goes aesthetically, it still looks nice like every one of its previous movies and delivers on the action scenes, even if it should go for even stupider action given its title as the final Naruto movie we will see. The film lives down its title more by not including many series staple characters that have been around for a long time. Even fan favorite Sasuke only appears for about 10 seconds and doesn’t even do much. All of this only serves to be poured into a plot that is not as emotionally invested as one would hope.

But where the movie does draw you is in exactly what it offered: the relationship between Naruto and Hinata. You really do begin to want these two to get together as this film goes on, and even though fans were stiffed for so long in the comics with these two, a viewer will get a lot of feeling from seeing these two talk and connect a bit. Fans in the theater certainly took to it.

And that leads to my final point: this was one of the best theater experiences I’ve had in a long time. Almost every person in that crowd was a fan of Naruto (my group notwithstanding) and was thoroughly enthralled by the whole experience. They screamed for the film to start and cheered for the character moments; even I let out a heartfelt “Finally!” as the penultimate scene occurred.

That is why I cannot bad mouth the final Naruto film. It gave me a good experience of fans finally getting their dreams recognized, and even though I may never see this again unless it gets dubbed in English, “The Last: Naruto the Movie” is entertaining enough to rowdy fans and non-fans alike and should be acknowledged for at least finalizing one of the fan communities most desired relationships. If love is all people wanted from this film, then I’d say all is good.

Ryan Funes is a lover of all things movie, TV, video games and stories and wants to become a television writer someday. In his spare time he enjoys hanging with friends, tapping into his imagination, and watching cartoons of all kinds.