Prime Reactions Review – Boruto: Naruto the Movie

Most people have first impressions or early thoughts. I have prime reactions. This time we’re looking at: Boruto Bort: Naruto the Movie. Because it couldn’t just be Bort: The Movie or Bort: Son of Naruto. All Naruto movies belong to our lord Hokage and savior.

1

Did I really see two new Naruto movies in the same year? Well, to be fair, this isn’t as bad as The Last: Naruto the Movie. It’s still awful, but slightly better than that contrived mess.

Movie opens with Sasuke fighting random bad guys. Apparently the fight mattered so little, it doesn’t conclude. Cut to Bort and team taking down a rabid bear. We see Konohamaru’s their teacher and he uses the Shadow Possession Jutsu. Apparently, they now have the means to put jutsu into mini scrolls, stick them in a gauntlet, and launch them with Capsule Corp. technology? Speaking of technology, there are computer monitors, SD cards, some handheld game, and a giant color television screen in the village because all of this only took a few years to develop.

Next we cut to Hinata who seems to have her hands full dealing with her Hyuga clan duties. Nah, I’m just kidding. She’s at home vacuuming and dusting. Meanwhile, we see Himawari training to be a ninja. Nah, I’m just kidding. She’s a stay-at-home daughter. Reign it in, guys. Don’t make the girls too interesting.

We see Naruto clones shopping, running errands, and attending events. (VERY IMPORTANT DETAIL!!!) We learn Bort has a problem with Naruto because he’s a neglectful father. Bort reminds Naruto of Himawari’s birthday and threatens to never forgive him if he forgets it.

Some scientist idiot comes in to ask Naruto to allow the use of the jutsu gauntlets in the Chunin Exam. Naruto says no. For some reason, Bort doesn’t want to enter the Chunin Exam. We see scientist man is stalking Bort, listening in on him with a bug we didn’t see him plant.

Hinata and Himawari run into Bort and they go home to celebrate Himawari’s birthday. Naruto’s home and everyone’s happy! As Naruto’s walking the cake to the table, it turns out he’s a clone. It pops and the cake plops on the floor. Wow… fail. Bort storms off while Hinata tries to make him understand that Naruto didn’t have a father, but Bort does and Hokage = big job and stuff. It matters little to Bort if he has a father since he’s never around. To be fair, Naruto didn’t forget Himawari’s birthday. He just didn’t personally show up. Bort can’t never forgive Naruto. Showing up wasn’t part of the deal.

Naruto collapses in his office. Shikamaru tells him to go home and that he’ll finish… whatever Naruto’s so busy with. So Shikamaru could’ve done this work the whole time? Naruto seriously can’t take a night off? By the way, it’s peace time so what exactly is keeping Naruto so busy? He’s Hokage. Who’s going to tell him off if he wants to go home? What, he never goes home? Bort implies that it’s THAT bad. Being Hokage has never been depicted to be this terrible. Granted, it’s not an easy job, but I feel like this is more forced drama that doesn’t make any sense. It’s not ideal, but couldn’t Naruto leave a clone in the Hokage’s office for a few hours for the birthday party? I don’t actually know if the office ever closes, but I can’t see the Third at his age being forced to stay there overnight.

Sasuke visits Naruto’s home. Surprisingly, this is the first time Sasuke’s met Bort. Bort stalks Sasuke and asks him for training. Sasuke won’t train Bort until he learns the Rasengan. Bort bugs Konohamaru and he quickly does the water balloon and rubber ball training. Sarada Salad stalks Bort during this. Lots of stalking in this movie. Bort eventually makes a tiny Rasengan. He throws it in frustration and runs off. Sasuke intends to train him as we see that the Rasengan made a spiral mark on a tree.

Bort runs into scientist guy who gives him the jutsu gauntlet. He goes back to Sasuke and uses it to make a full Rasengan. Where Bort or the scientist guy got a Rasengan capsule when only Naruto and Konohamaru can use the jutsu is conveniently left out. Sasuke can tell he’s cheating, but becomes his teacher anyway. Why he doesn’t just out Bort’s cheating and have him learn the Rasengan for real is conveniently not written in.

We cut to the bad guys. They find the Eight Tails who’s chained up for some reason and blows it up. Then he takes the Eight Tails out of Killer Bee in the form of balls and drops his lifeless body into the ocean/sea. Okay, so why is Eight Tails chained up? I thought the tailed beasts were pretty “chill” after meeting with Naruto. Putting that aside, Eight always had a good relationship with Killer Bee making him the least likely to rampage. Also, when Shukaku was taken out of Gaara, he died. So… is Killer Bee dead or what? The movie never addresses this. What about the other hosts? Did the bad guys get them? You can’t just write whatever you want and not explain it…

I guess the Chunin Exams got wimpier or cut for time because this is a movie. In round one they’re asked a trick question. You walk to a “yes” or “no” and you fall into a hole either way. Teams who were quick enough to avoid falling proceed. This is team-based, right? What if one guy fell? The second exam is capture the flag. You’re in a horrible position if you’re down one guy. That’s not a problem here, folks. Conveniently, only full teams passed!

Bort uses his gauntlet to cheat in the second round. Naruto comes home personally to congratulate Bort and then he has to go. His planet village needs him. Bort reacts happily.

Round three is a one-on-one tournament. Bort cheats in his first match. Bort cheats in his next match and Naruto notices. He has Hinata use her Byakugan to check Bort’s sleeve. Naruto jumps down to reveal the gauntlet and disqualifies Bort. He even takes his Genin headband away. Something about using a ninja tool over your personal chakra defeating the purpose of these exams. I agree. That statement completely matches up with the past like when Naruto defeated Neji solely because of the fox chakra. That was all according to Naruto’s master keikaku! Truthfully, Naruto defeated Neji with skill at the very end, but after getting his chakra points knocked out, you know that it wasn’t a fair fight for Neji. I’m sure from Neji’s point of view, Naruto cheated. All the witnesses including the Third who knew it was fox chakra raised no objections. This is up for interpretation, but it’s worth bringing up.

The stupid subplot with the scientist guy comes to fruition when he comes out to praise his gauntlet. Too bad he’s interrupted by the nameless villains who wreck the stadium. Turns out they’re related to Kaguya in some way and they want to make magic pills out of the tailed beast hos…ZZZZ. Naruto supposedly dies protecting the village. Bort sulks about it. Sasuke gives him a pep talk and tells him he’s going to save Naruto who is *gasp* alive! The current Kages offer their help as well. Because yeah, the last set was so effective that I’m sure these background extras we know so much about will have a huge impact on this final fight. Sasuke gives Bort his scarred headband because… I don’t know.

Sasuke uses his Rinnegan to send everyone to the Tree of Might where Naruto and Bort share a few sentences together. After some fighting, one villain’s near death and tells the other to eat him… after turning him into a fruit of course! The bad guy transforms into a State 2 ripoff as Naruto and Sasuke team up. We get into the crazy summonings again as a giant fox with Susano’o armor fights a giant bird, giant tentacles, and a lava Clayface ripoff. I’m tired of these giant summoning fights in movies. It was cool when Gamabunta fought Shukaku, but as the power creep increased, these fights don’t matter. They’re too short to have any tactics or discussion. It’s just big thing tears up other big things which is irrelevant because you know these fights HAVE to end with the humans.

Moving on, scientist idiot shows up with a gauntlet… First, how did he get here? Second… why is this guy a thing? Why couldn’t they just have Bort buy the stupid gauntlet and leave this filler trash out? There’s nothing better they could’ve filled this time with? Sigh… Anyway, the idiot shoots a jutsu at the bad guy who absorbs it and becomes stronger. Bort uses his magical disappearing, reappearing Rasengan on the bad guy which he didn’t think to absorb because it disappeared and reappeared to hit him. It’s magic! Bort creates another one and Naruto lends him a hand to of course make the film end with a giant father-son Rasengan. And of course the bad guy can also make a giant chakra sphere. Can’t just win with the Rasengan. Gotta clash them and overpower the enemy’s. In Budokai ultimate move fashion, you see the Rasengan’s effects shoot off from a topside view of the planet.

Movie ends with Naruto at home before going to work. Another bear escapes from the zoo and Bort’s team has to catch it. There’s a post-credits scene I won’t spoil.

So… it’s not very good. It was an easier sit at around 90 minutes than two hours of The Last: Naruto the Movie. Bort would’ve worked better as a series because I think people are pretty interested in learning more about the new children. More dialogue and character interactions would’ve been welcome. Definitely would’ve liked to see Hanabi or grandpa Hiashi pop up. Remember when Naruto declared to Neji that he’ll change the Hyuga clan when he becomes Hokage? Did that happen? But… since the anime is still plagued with filler and refuses to catch up to the now over manga, they gotta get that box office money while the manga’s over-ness is hot regardless of Bort getting his own show.

I felt so bad for the female characters. Short of Tenten who watches over the Chunin Exam and Kurotsuchi who’s the Stone Kage, the other girls seem to be nothing more than housewives. There isn’t anything to imply otherwise. Granted, their skills are still intact, but I think it would’ve been more cool if Hinata was doing Hyuga clan stuff or we see the others at their jobs if they actually have any. Sasuke obviously isn’t putting food on the table.

And what is it with the horrible fathers in anime/manga? Who can write this stuff and think “Perfect!” Goku’s different because I guess whoever writes him just never wants him to learn anything or develop, but these days I don’t know why anyone would write fathers that way. It’s not clever. It’s not funny. It just makes these characters seems like jerks. Why have kids if you’re not going to be around or at least try your darndest to do so?

That said, Sasuke playing a bigger role was nice. I just question where he got all this free time and with it chooses not to spend it with Salad or Sakura. It was pretty cool of him to train Bort despite looking past his cheating for no reason. I don’t think I’ve seen this interaction with someone training their rival’s child or at least not very often. Imagine if Vegeta trained Goten. Sounds interesting, if improbable.

I liked how Bort cares about Himawari. It’s just too bad she has no personality or traits whatsoever. Speaking of traits, why don’t either of these kids have Byakugan? Did Kishimoto not want gross girl genes in them? Huge missed opportunity. Grandpa Hiashi must be so disappointed. I don’t even know why Himawari exists. It would’ve been no different if it were Bort’s birthday that Naruto “missed”. Nothing memorable unless you find her cute which I’d rather her be ugly and have something important to say/do.

The fights looked good and were definitely a step up from The Last: Naruto the Movie. Especially since there was more variety between the short exam fights and the climax. Naruto and Sasuke teaming up was fun to see even if the monster movie section bugged me.

The two bad guys are not as intrusive this time. They definitely didn’t have as much “work” put into them. The writers basically said to tie them in with Kaguya just because and don’t color them like The Last: Naruto the Movie’s bad guy and call it a day. These bad guys are just as much if not more forced in as the previous movie’s. I suppose if I had to go with either, I’d rather it be Bort-style. It focused on the characters more with the bad guys intervening for fights. The Last: Naruto the Movie guy on the other hand took up too much time which took time away from the characters. Either way is awful, but I’d rather the character stuff be prominent if you HAVE to put in a bad guy.

The gauntlet makes no sense. We see in the beginning that Konohamaru who I assume is a Jonin by now uses it. Shortly after, the scientist idiot is out to prove that it’s a scientific wonder by having Bort use it to win the Chunin Exam. Naruto denied its use for the Chunin Exam, but does that mean he approved of it before for Chunin+ members? Why? I completely understand the logic in becoming a Chunin with your own skill, but if at some point you’re just going to let them use the gauntlet at a high rank anyway…

Once again the drama is forced, makes no sense, and is horrible to sit through. Seriously, Naruto’s whole not being at home thing. It can’t be THAT hard, especially if you have an excuse like your daughter’s birthday. Being Hokage doesn’t mean you’re married to the job. Again, Shikamaru says he can do the same work. Also again, Naruto uses clones for darn near everything else. Can’t leave a clone for a few hours to go home and party? The worst part is that I don’t feel like Naruto learned anything. He’s home at the end, but why? What changed? I want to know how that happened because this was very central to the movie. Well, the writers couldn’t figure it out either so they just plop him at home for a happy ending.

Ultimate Reflections:
This… wasn’t good. Like The Last: Naruto the Movie I think it could’ve been stronger in the right hands. This needs a television adaptation to explore more concepts and characters. And no, I don’t mean a Dragon Ball Super-style retelling. Otherwise, to reiterate again: forced and effortless bad guys, forced drama, nobody learns anything, and many things don’t make sense. Broken record when it comes to Naruto movies. I recommend it for the big Naruto fans. If you aren’t and even if you are, I think you can skip this and find something better to watch.

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