Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Boruto: Naruto the Movie

By: Robert Murphy 

The Village Hidden in the Leaf has gone through tremendous changes since the 4th Great Shinobi War, an era of peace has been ushered in the likes of which has never been seen and Naruto stands at the top of it all trying to be the Hokage he always dreamed of being. Well, he certainly has succeeded in this endeavor as the village has never been more prosperous, even technologically advanced with cell phones, computers and portable video game systems. But, this story isn't about him rather this story is about the next generation of ninjas to come forth in this new era.

Boruto is the son of Naruto and Hinata and unlike his father Boruto is a uniquely gifted ninja right from the get go, he is practically the new Sasuke of this generation despite Sarada Uchiha the exceptional ninja some of us got to see in the ten chapter Naruto Gaiden manga. He also has some deep issues with his famous father who never seems to be around for him or the rest of his family, Naruto suffering from serious workaholic syndrome and even using multiple shadow clones around the clock to keep up with everything. Nonetheless Naruto doesn't come off as a golden example of a father especially to Boruto who wants nothing more to surpass him by becoming even more skilled than he already is.

Boruto's complete opposite narrative in terms of the character Naruto use to be was an interesting take for the movie to go with as he suffers from generally being spoiled by his talents and the generation of peace the ninja world finds themselves in. Boruto always looks for the easy way out of a situation and when anything becomes to hard for him he quickly quits and moves on because failure is not and option for him. This leads him to rely on a member of the Scientific Ninja Corps who has developed a ninja scroll launching tool that allows even genin ninja to use powerful ninjutsu with the flick of the wrist. It's an amazing piece of machinery to see in action but it's further proves just how spoiled of a character Boruto is and Naruto even points out that his son is just too "clean" meaning he doesn't try hard to obtain what he is after. But, despite my distaste for Boruto as a character he does shine through here and there when you realize he is just a kid who wants to be validated by his father and that eventually comes at the half way mark for the movie, only to be ripped away moments later by the main and easily forgettable enemy.   

The second half of the movie morphs into something entirely different from the first half of the story once an unknown pair of enemies comes to take Kurama away from Naruto. These two appear just as Kaguya does and they apparently were enemies against her, stealing the seeds from the great tree in order to unlock hidden power. The two are basically rip offs of Kaguya though and bring nothing new to the story or the narrative for that matter. The whole situation really serves as nothing more than another moment to show off how powerful Naruto and Sasuke have become. The battle that ensues is an exceptional one with even the Five Kage stepping in to show of their own abilities but still it felt like a step away from everything that has happened up until this point and that Boruto and his father's issues take a back seat just like they always have.

Boruto's role in this finally portion of the movie is nothing more than the onlooker and the attempt to include him in this portion of the battle felt quite ridiculous. He is able to do damage on this final enemy, who let's remember is on the level of Kaguya, by using his rasengan which is quite different from his dad's or anyone else's as it's distorts space and then reappears. Just like the ninja scroll tool however it is neat but otherwise underwhelming. It serves as a weak reason for how Boruto now feels the confidence to never give up and even rely on his teammates more in the future. Furthermore, the final father-son attack scene doesn't appear to be enough to clear up some of the clear issues both Naruto and Boruto have with one another. It all feels rather rushed and unresolved by the end.

Unlike Naruto Gaiden, the Boruto movie does little to show off the new generation of ninja that will one day advance far beyond Naruto and his friends have. Boruto himself was an all around upsetting character to deal with is as he just comes off as a spoiled kid whose made at his dad for no reason. Naruto himself doesn't come out of this squeaky clean especially when he uses clones for important points in his families life, even emailing them congratulations, but whatever the case it just doesn't work out. The story feels rushed and the enemies are forgettable making the future of the Boruto's generation seem a bit disappointing. 


- The final fight scene is fantastic

- Animation is top notch


- Boruto is a spoiled and frankly annoying lead character

- Enemies are insanely forgettable

- Movie feels like two separate tales and neither end satisfyingly

Scully Rating: 4.0 out of 10

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