Saturday, March 14, 2009

Movie Review: Naruto: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow

Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow
Rated PG
2 Slimes
Copyright Viz Media 2007
By: InformationGeek

THE CHARACTERS

Naruto Uzumaki: If you’re watching this movie and you don’t know who he is, most likely you are watching the wrong movie. A one track mind main character who is trying to take Yukie Fujikaze back to the Land of Snow in one piece. He’s obsessed with Yukie to the point where it is very creepy. He’s also got this demon that seemingly gives him unlimited charka.

Sakura Haruno: Naruto’s ally and comrade. He has a big crush on her, which she promptly ignores. She’s the team’s medical expert and one of the ninja in charge of bringing Yukie back to the Land of Snow.

Sasuke Uchiha: Naruto’s rival, ally, and comrade. He’s also in charge of bringing Yukie back to the Land of Snow. Sakura loves him, but he doesn’t care about her feelings.

Kakashi Hatake: He’s Naruto’s mentor and the lead ninja on the job in escorting Yukie back to the Land of Snow. He managed to rescue Yukie when several years previously. He pretty much destroys Nadare.

Yukie Fujikaze: A big time movie star that seemingly has no emotions, which were most likely robbed of her when Doto killed her father and destroyed her original home. She’s the princess of the Land of Snow and is really called Koyuki Kazahana. Doto’s her uncle.

Sandayu Asama: Yukie’s manager and protector who followed her here after Doto attacked the Land of Snow’s kingdom. He’s killed by Doto’s spear shooting train.

Director Makino: He directs the newest Princess Gale movie, which takes him to the Land of Snow. He’s very obsessed with directing the movie and even adds the battle scenes between the ninja into the movie.

Nadare Roga: He’s Doto’s right hand ninja and leads Fubuki and Mizore into battle. Kakashi kills him by slamming him head first into solid rock.

Fubuki: A female rouge ninja who is helping Doto in his plans. Promptly electrocuted to death with her charka armor takes too much damage.

Mizore: Another rouge ninja helping Doto out. He’s electrified when his charka armor breaks.

Doto Kazahana: The evil dictator of the Land of Snow. Very typical kind of villain. He wants to get his hands on Yukie’s crystal necklace, which is some kind of key to some strange treasure her father hid away. Yukie is his niece. Naruto hits him with this powerful ninja move (It has a name, but no one besides a fan would care to know what it is) and it sends him flying into side of the machine, which probably killed him.

LESSONS LEARNED
+ Ninja villages have movie theaters.
+ Charka comes in the rainbow variety.
+ Ninja’s wear bright orange clothing.
+ Spies can be tipsy and drunk while pursing a target.
+ You can see the future in mirrors.
+ Ninjas use snowboards, trains, and blimps.
+ Large heat generators can quickly melt an entire country of snow in seconds.

STUFF TO WATCH FOR
1 min – Is this the right movie?
6 min – I’ll save you some time, I will not explain how he did that.
8 min – I don’t think she cares.
14 min 30 sec – Oh yeah, like that’s not creepy at all.
16 min – Someone needs to be taken of the sake.
32 min – Doto?! That’s a dumb villain name!
41 min – Don’t question it, just run!
54 min – Ninjas sure have some impressive fortresses.
61 min – She can actually smile!
68 min – Now that had to hurt.
69 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST AN EVIL NINJA’S HEAD!74 min – Talk about being blown away.

NOTABLE QUOTES
Naruto: Naruto Uzumaki! Live and in the flesh!
Every Single Movie Patron in the room: Be quiet! Shut up!

Naruto: I don’t know where you got your taste in men Sakura, but it sucks.
Sakura: (Glares angrily at him) Come again?
Naruto: Ah… what was the question again?

Yukie: There’s no such thing as a happy ending in this world!
Makino: Yes there is! As long as you are willing to fight for it!


THE PLOT

Yeah, I’m a fan of Naruto. So what of it? As a fan of the series and an unwritten rule of fandom, I’m supposed to love everything thing about the series and everything else about it or some crap like that. Well, I don’t like to follow the rules so I decided to judge this movie in a critical eye as a fan of the series and more importantly as a movie reviewer.

The movie opens up with interestingly enough, watching another movie that is going on within the movie itself. Confusing, isn’t it? We find out the main characters, Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke are watching a movie from the Princess Gale series illegally, since they are on the movie theater’s ceiling. To do this, they are using a strange force called Charka. To save some people some time, charka is like the Force, magic, or Spiritual Energy (Fans of Bleach should know what I’m talking about), though it allows the user to do more impressive attacks and can be use to increase someone stamina. There’s more to it, but you can go research it.

So, after making a scene in the theater, the three of them wait for their master, Kakashi Hatake, to show up to get their next mission. While they wait, the actress who played Princess Gale in the movie, suddenly races behind them on a horse while others are pursuing her. They go to help her, but they find out from Kakashi that the people chasing her were just trying to get her to come back to the movie set. Their job is to protect her as she is escorted to the Land of Snow to film some scenes for her next movie.

After forcibly knocking her out, the film crew, the ninja, and Yukie set sail for the Land of Snow. As expected, someone is watching her because she has this thing called the Hex Crystal (More on that later). Anyways, the crew decides to start filming on this iceberg one the way, which is where they are attacked by these three rouge ninjas, Nadare, Fubuki, and Mizore. They come to take Yukie with them, but Naruto and his team manage to effectively protect and save her.

When they arrive in port, Yukie’s manager, Sandayu tells them that she is the rightful heir to the throne of the Land of Snow. She was driven from her home when her uncle Doto killed her father and took claim of the land of Snow. Sandayu used this movie as an excuse to get her back her so she could take over and force Doto off the throne. Sure… that sounds like a great plan. Ask an evil dictator to give you back your kingdom. Either way, she refuses.

Anyways, the film crew and the ninjas decide to keep protecting her so they can still at least finished the film and maybe convince her in the meantime to take back her kingdom. As they drive to their next destination, Yukie takes off. Naruto manages to track her down and drag her back to the film crew. However, on the way, they are attacked by Doto’s attack train, that’s the best way to explain it.

Doto confronts them from his train and is about to apparently attack them, when Sandayu interferes. Doto kills him with his cannon that shoots knives and is force to retreat when Kakashi, Sasuke, and Sakura start attacking them. He, however, comes back with this blimp and then is able to capture Yukie. This guy sure has a lot of advance technology.

Once aboard, Doto wants Yukie to hand over her necklace, which has the Hex Crystal on it. Apparently, it is the key to unlock some sort of secret treasure. He then discovers that the crystal is fake and that Kakashi has switched it out. Naruto, who has managed to crawl aboard, tries to rescue her, but it stopped by Nadare and his two sidekicks. They then place this machine that attaches to him that can restrain and suck up all his charka. Once again, I like to say that he sure has some advance technology at his disposal.

So, Doto takes Naruto and Yukie back to his ice castle where he places them in separate cells. Naruto manages to escape from his cell and get Yukie out of hers, after a Naruto signature inspirational speech (Watch the series and you’ll know what I’m talking about). While they are escaping, they run into Kakashi and the rest of team, who have infiltrated the base. On their way out, Doto stops them and takes the real Hex Crystal (Kakashi gave it back to Yukie), while also kidnapping Yukie.

Everyone pursues after Doto, but Kakashi, Sasuke, and Sakura stopped by Nadare, Fubuki, and Mizore. Sakura and Sasuke take out Fubuki and Mizore, while Kakashi kills Nadare. Naruto, given a lift by the film crew, arrives at that this strange place where Doto has taken Yukie. Apparently, once he places the Hex Crystal into this slot in the area, he’ll uncover the Land of Snow’s greatest treasure. The joke is on him though; apparently Hex Crystal just starts up a heat generator which starts melting all the snow in the land. Yukie’s father made it so he could bring spring to the land. Well, so much for calling the place the Land of Snow.

Doto, of course, is angry by this discovery. Naruto confronts him head on, but is knocked aside. Then Sasuke comes in and breaks a hole in Doto’s defense, which allows for Naruto to deliver the final blow, while also destroying the machine that was absorbing his charka. Doto is completely blown away, spring comes to the land, and Yukie plans on taking over as the princess of the land while also being a movie actress on the side. Alls well that ends well.

This movie is so cliché that it makes me want gage a bit. While it is an ok story and everything, only fans of the series could possibly enjoy this. No one outside of the series would be able to understand all of the terminology from the series and since the show doesn’t try to help outsiders understand it, they will not like the movie. As a fan, you’ll like it, but as a regular movie fan, this movie isn’t anything special except for some alright action scenes and some good animation.

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