Naruto returns after a few years of training and the series kicks off again under the Shippuden name. Being the big money-maker it is a yearly film also comes with the return, but with an older Naruto have the films upped the game and gone for a more epic, mature feature?
Naruto Shippuden The Movie is exactly the same as two of the three previous Naruto movies but that odd one out still falls for the same traps. Naruto has to protect someone, this time a fortune-teller priestess called Shion, and badly designed filler villains are trying to get her. Throw in a loyal servant, a spoiled characteristic for Shion with the progression of becoming nicer and a special attack Rasengan finish from Naruto on the big bad. Every Naruto film contains elements of these things and it is downright tedious. Slow pacing on the dull plots is also a problem the film suffers and the rather cool looking fights only get a small amount of screen time. Naruto Shippuden The Movie has all this and then some horrible cgi walking statues to top it all off.
The story does try to throw a few different ideas into the mix though as this time we see Naruto die at the start of the film. Yep, the main character dies and it creates a sudden interest to what will actually happen in this film. A pity it was a foretelling from Shion so we know the theme of the story will be that of changing destiny. Still while it has predictable plot twists and sluggish pace the film does get rather entertaining in the second half. The relationship between Naruto and Shion becomes pretty cute and while her change of heart is one giant cliché, she at least becomes a rather pleasant character. The conclusion to the film is also rather exciting thanks to the visuals and epic music, I was glued to the events at this stage even if the coming events were known before knowing anything about the film. Naruto movie syndrome that is.
Naruto Shippuden The Movie is alright then. It may be a nice looking extended filler episode of Naruto and the time skip doesn’t seem to have added anything here, but it has some cool fights, an engrossing final act and it looks nice. Just don’t expect anything brilliant or ninja like, it feels more like crazy magicians now. Also the main villain looks like he is from The Darkness and uses those little monsters. The comic, not the band.