Assigned on a mission to capture Mukade, a missing-nin, Naruto Uzumaki sets out for the once glorious historic ruins of "Ouran", where he pursues and corners the rogue ninja. Mukade's goal is revealed to be a dormant leyline within the ruins; he unleashes the power of the leyline, causing a light to envelop Naruto, sending him into the past, 20 years before the series began. When Naruto awakens, he comes into contact with the Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze.
After seeing the trailer for this movie nearly a year ago, I'll be honest and say I thought it looked really awesome! It seemed like a great idea for a Naruto movie! Now, I've seen the long awaited Naruto Movie 4 The Lost Tower, and I am, to say the least, very disappointed with it.
It wasn't the worst Naruto movie I've seen, but it was the one that I was most excited about and that's what bothers me the most.
Here is what I thought of it:
From the trailer and the description, I thought for sure that this movie would be about Naruto going
into the past and meeting his dad and they would have a father-son sort of bonding (without knowing that they were related). I wanted to see Minato and Naruto as the main focus of the movie. And what do I get? All together, Minato showed up in the movie for about 10 minutes. I wouldn't even consider him a main character. Instead of Minato taking up the spotlight, we meet a new character named Sara. The only good parts of the movie were when Minato was there; in other words, there were only about 10 minutes of the movie that I enjoyed.
Focusing on other details - In the first few seconds, this movie starts off with a fight that includes Naruto, Sakura, Sai and Kakashi. I'll admit, it was a decent fight to catch the audience's attention. But after, it basically went downhill.
The first ten minutes of the movie do a quick intro to what will happen throughout the film, but those ten or so minutes were definitely not enough! Everything was extremely fast paced, especially at the beginning. There were also several gaps in the plot that made me wonder if I had missed something. That alone just spells doom for the rest of the film. The plot doesn't matter because it wasn't any good, the only decent parts were the fighting, and even then, it wasn't incredible.
The art in The Lost Tower wasn't terrible, but the characters didn't have all that many details, just average anime art.
The background on the other hand was very beautiful and nicely detailed! During this movie, we see many buildings and sky-scraping towers. I feel like the majority of the budget for this movie went to making the background pretty. But most people focus on the characters rather than the objects behind them.
Something that bugged me a little bit was the random and most ridiculous faces or body-twists that Naruto has ever made. I have never really seen his face distort like that in the show. This little addition made it similar to One Piece expressions (as in, the eyes grow extremely wide and the mouth extends longer than is humanly possible). I am aware that anime doesn't follow the laws of physics, but in previous naruto movies and the show, they have kept things relatively realistic. But like I mentioned, it only bothered me a little bit.
Junko Takeuchi is a great voice actress! She is able to voice emotions very well and that's part of what makes Naruto's character interesting and fun. So I don't have anything bad to say about her.
Toshiyuki Morikawa voices Minato Namikaze in The Lost Tower. He is also a very talented voice actor and I think the creators would have been smart to include Minato in the movie more and by doing that, give Toshiyuki Morikawa more time to talk!
Saori Hayami is the voice of the new character Sara (or Saara) in this movie. She isn't a terrible voice actress, but nothing about her stood out to me. Rather than being emotional and dedicated to the voice, she sounded a bit too scripted.
The music in the Lost Tower was decent enough. The only song that stood out to me though was the ending fight song! The other songs used in the movie just seemed like background noise that nobody thinks twice about.
Naruto - for some reason, I felt like Naruto was acting too childish. Remember Naruto from the first series where he complains and whines a lot? That's what he acted like. The Naruto in Naruto Shippuuden is more mature (in some ways) and a bit more calm. I think the writers would have done better to have Naruto more cool-headed and rational.
Minato - as I have said a couple times, he is NOT a main character in this movie. So I am not able to talk much about him. But from what I saw, he is how I would picture him to act.
Sara - We always need a "Damsel in Distress" right? That's basically all Sara does in this movie. She tries to help several times, but really doesn't do much. She got a much larger part in the movie than I would have preferred.
Kakashi - in this movie, we get to see young Kakashi. However, we see him even less than Minato. He wasn't really even necessary for this movie. I love Kakashi and I really wanted him to be more involved! I would have loved to see his young self fight alongside Minato and Naruto. But sadly, all he really did was take up screen space.
Mukade - Can I even put this guy into a "villain" category? He really wasn't a very intimidating bad guy. I could hardly even remember his name. His goals weren't impressive and his actions were, to be honest, boring. "Madara", "Pain" or "Orochimaru" are names that people can remember because the characters DID something worth remembering. Mukade doesn't even come close to a decent villain.
Definitely not a movie that I would want to go buy or even watch again. For that entire 1 hour and 25 minutes, I was waiting for something epic to happen, but nothing did.
My 'enjoyment' is often based on the Story and Character, and after giving those low scores, you can imagine that my enjoyment was also relatively low.
I really wish I could give this a better score. But I felt the need to be harshly honest about this movie. I didn't like it, it was a disappointment in every way possible.
I can only hope that the next Naruto movie is better written than this one.
It is a sad day in the forest when a kid can't recognize his own father who looks EXACTLY like him when he has outrageously yellow, spiked hair just like him. This is the tale of Naruto and the Lost Tower in a nutshell.
*Note: This review may include a few spoilers.
The plot makes absolutely no sense and has little purpose other than for Naruto to meet his father and completely misunderstand it, as his head is too thick to even consider the fact that the guy with the exact same haircut gave him his gene pool. I'm only going to assume that this plot
takes place before Naruto knows that the fourth Hokage was his dad because he did manage to piece that together, but nothing else.
Another thing he obviously couldn't figure out was that the girl he meets back in the present at the ruins of the tower is the daughter of the princess he'd met in the past. She is also an obvious reincarnation that Naruto never pieced together and the third strike against him is that I'm not even sure if he recognized Kakashi, who appears to him as a child (also looking no different than present-day Kakashi).
My only conclusion is that Naruto has Capygras syndrome or suffers from severe retardation.
Overall, the art isn't bad. The animation is fluid and there are some pretty good effects added. The fights did get somewhat boring by the end as they followed the same shounen guideline of "get your ass kicked until the very last second in which we FINALLY turn the tables because our time is up".
During a lot of the action scenes the sound effects overrided what little voice was going on at the same time. The only good thing about their sound was Toshiyuki Morikawa, and that is only in my opinion.
No character development what-so-ever. The princess (female lead) is your generic kind of girl who dislikes Naruto so far as to slap him several times after saving her life in the beginning to promising to never forget their encounter and telling him about how he changed her life at the end. Also, she has a daughter who meets Naruto and briefly and obviously talks about Princess Sara for the audience to realize who her mother was. Their designs aren't creative because they both look like Karen without her glasses.
Also, the villian is your typical "I will destroy the world and you can't stop me until the end" kind of character, and about 80% of his script includes screaming "Sara!" (the princess), 15% includes monologues of taking over the universe or about being invincible, and the last 5% is miscellaneous crap that isn't even noteworthy.
As I raged about earlier, my other criticism was how Naruto can't recognize even the most obvious of obvious.
By 10 minutes through the movie I was constantly checking the timer to see how much longer this torture would go on and I was constantly face palming at everything Naruto didn't notice, which was a constant. The only reason it didn't get a one out of ten is, again, because Toshiyuki Morikawa is one of my favorite voice actors AND lucky for Naruto, I have seen many an anime that exceeds even this poor quality in terms of crappiness.
A complete waste of 85 minutes, 40 of which were spent defeating the bad guy. I don't even recommend it to even the biggest of Naruto fans. To be honest, this movie wasn't much different than the plot and cast from the first Shippuden movie.
Compared to the other movies, this one wasn't that good. I mean, as a movie or time killer its fine but it's nothing to get hyped up over. As usual Naruto being the main character runs around doing things his way like in every other movie. Theres nothing new here. Also the main female is NOT Naruto's mom. Naruto's mother's name is Kushina. This lady is Sara. They just look alike.
The concept of time travel is interesting itself. I mean, Naruto going back into time to meet Minato and a few others? Who wouldn't want to see that?. Unfortunately this hope was dropped a
little (tell you why soon) and is why it fell short of 8 for me.
This "present" Naruto and this "past" Minato barely ever collided timelines in conversation. I understand that during time travel, contact between past, present and future beings should avoid communication as much as possible in case of destroying space and time but I think they followed this concept too well to the point where you shouldn't even bother getting your hopes up over this idea.
I also feel like the story was a bit rushed in that they found the enemy too quickly and that the second half of the movie just consisted of everyone trying to defeat the bad guy.
The art was good. I like all the art in Naruto movies. Hell, I like anime movie art in general. But there is no jump of quality since the last movie. So whatever you saw there, its no different from this one.
Sound was fine. Nothing memorable.
Characters were pretty good. Naruto being his charging forward self. I felt that there was a lack of focus on Minato though. I felt like the way they showed him made him look weak as the only move he uses in the entire movie is Shuriken Kage Bunshin no Jutsu and his Flying Thunder God Technique via Flying Thunder God Kunai.
I enjoyed it as a time killer but compared it falls short of being on par with the other movies. Like every Naruto movie, Naruto pulls out a super-special-movie-only Rasengan. Yes, he does in this movie too. You will laugh at the name.
The movie was good, not great, but good. I should also warn you, whatever you see in the trailer, forget it. Not once is the word "son" or "dad" or "father" used in the movie. The trailers lie. Also... either the enemy is very very powerful, or Naruto got weaker. He never even goes beyond 25-30 clones.
Oh how I hate trailers, well actually I’ve come to hate them, I use to enjoy watching movie trailers now I can only watch them with a skeptical and critical eye. They’re deceiving and often times will regurgitate the best scenes in one mash up with dramatic background music: it’ll get the audience intrigued and excited. Lost Tower followed the same routine.
The movie trailer truly looked exciting, while I have seen the past Naruto movies – a few being quite disappointing – I was crossing my fingers for this one. I saw the trailer and had a fangirl
moment once I saw a glimpse of the Fourth Hokage and a chibi Kakashi: it had time travel written all over it. I was so excited at the prospected that for a year I patiently waited, imagining how epic this movie was going to be.
Once I was finally able to get my hands on a subbed version I eagerly started watching it.
The beginning was nothing special, if anything it felt rushed as it tried to cram whatever nonsensical explanation the plot needed to get it going: this happened in the short span of 5-10 minutes; but I didn’t let it deter me from the rest of the movie.
Finally after a cliché opening Naruto is thrown into the past, this is where the excitement and adventure begins. Sadly it doesn’t.
For a movie that showcases team seven with Yamato in the beginning we only get Naruto thrown in the past with Yamato, and Yamato is only shown for a few minutes. So that was one big glaring disappointment, but I was hoping that would mean the story would concentrate on Naruto and Minato... well to disappoint all of the Minato fans the movie zeros in on Naruto and some new princess; Minato is left in the dust. Yah.
So Lost Tower falls into the predictable niche with its routine formula – Princess, Villain and Hero - with under developed princess and villain, forgotten side-characters and boring plot.
We'll start with the Princess, how I detest this character. Sara is another unlikeable and one-dimensional damsel in distress who has a creepy resemblance to Kushina. She's naive, arrogant and likes feeling sorry for herself. Obviously there's a plot, coup d'état would be an inappropriate word for such a movie, against her and she is obviously saved by Naruto. Then it's her boring adventure of self-discovery and it comes to the predictable climax of self-epiphany.
I don’t know why they can’t have a movie with no new helpless character, simply the same old people in a crisis trying to fight a villain (I suppose don’t mind new villains).
The Villain, Mukade, is the usual crazy type that wants to rule the world and gain copious amount of power. He somehow gains incredible regenerative abilities, incredible puppet technique that allows him to control an army of puppets and of course he has unlimited amount chakra so he never tires out. Really this amount of power, despite his physical weakness, would put Sasori, another legendary ventriloquist, to shame and Sasori was awesome and at least had a back story. Not much is known about Mukade beside the fact that he's a power hungry a-hole. He's a forgettable villain that makes you wonder how he can have so much power.
The Hero, well Naruto is Naruto. Typical speeches, absentmindedness, predictable jutsus and saves the day. Nothing new really in that department except I will point out how immature and childish he was, we all know Naruto isn't necessarily the sharpest pencil in the box but in Shippuden he had at least matured somewhat and calmed down since his 'genin' days. It seems like the producers decided to revert his personality and made Naruto so goofy and inattentive.
Now this might seem typical to a Naruto movie, but the whole package came apart and it failed to deliver. Too many transitional scenes, plot holes and not enough explanation adds to the many other lacking aspects of the movie.
Maybe I should explain in more detail why this movie totally sucked:
One big thing that took away from the movie were the boring fight scenes. This is a shonen series about shinobi's, I'm expecting some kick-ass action, instead Naruto is tossed around like a rag-doll and uses the same two jutsus: rasengan and bunshin, over and over again never deviating to anything else and he gets his ass handed to him. At least in the series he tries to use deception; and he has other jutsus that he doesn’t bother to use: Odama Rasengan, summoning or shadow shuriken technique. He uses the Rasenshuriken once but it’s easily overcome by the villains ‘godly’ powers, so it’s another bust in the jutsu and excitement category.
Then there’s this chakra blade business that was ridiculous to watch, another excuse to introduce a new and useless power that Naruto will never use beyond this movie. Naruto looked awkward wielding the blade, he could have used a simple kunai. They should have incorporated some nine-tail action or sage mode (although apparently this takes place before he goes to Mount Myoboku, so he wouldn’t know sage jutsu. They should have moved the timeline after the Pein Arc). The only nine-tail power we see is Naruto using some of its chakra to overwhelm the villain but that was poorly done – usually Naruto’s eyes would have turned red, his nail would grown longer and sharper, and his whisker marks would have widen and thicken, in the movie all aspects were absent.
I’m not even going to talk about Supreme [Lame] Ultimate Rasengan , the name says enough.
Then enters Minato who always saves Naruto in the nick of time, teasing the audience with a few neat parlour tricks and making us want to see him in full action, the only thing he seems to enjoy doing is talking cryptically and disappearing. The scenes he’s in usually goes along like this: he utters Naruto’s name, asks if he’s alright, tells him to protect the princess and then subsequently disappears to who-knows-where for the next 15 minutes. He never really explains his mission or how it correlates with the current events. Heck we see his two team members, Chouza and Shibi, do more fighting.
And since when does Naruto immediately obey any order? I don’t care if that was their way to ‘subtlety’ wink at the whole father/son bond, Naruto wouldn’t have easily obeyed Minato without an argument or disobedience, father or not.
The movie had so much potential that was wasted on repeated jutsus, boring dialogue, and failed fighting scenes.
The movie is extremely lame and boring, I feel disappointed. This has a ‘filler’ feel to it: annoying and naïve damsel that gets saved by Naruto and is subject to Naruto’s many speeches; uninteresting and overpowered villain that is subsequently defeated by a cliché new rasengan created at the last moment; important and powerful characters (Minato, Kakashi, Yamato) only show up at the last minute and disappears when most needed.
This is what I was hoping to get out of this movie:
• Have Sakura, Yamato, Sai and Naruto all thrown into the past;
• More scenes and interaction between Naruto and Minato – so more tag teaming;
• No cliché princess or new female character that shows subtle feeling towards Naruto near the end (and has an epiphany thanks to Naruto’s speech-no-jutsu);
• Kick-ass fighting: collaboration fighting with Sakura, Sai, Yamato, Naruto, and Minato. And Naruto actually showing his true fighting potential and not this BS that was spewed to us, Naruto can do better, this is Shippuden;
• Minato and Naruto bonding in an indirect way (the movie attempted to do this but failed miserably), so through tag teaming, good dialogue (banter, imitation, avoidance of revealing future yet it accidently slips little by little);
• More scenes with Minato in it! Seriously I thought he was going to be a main character, I mean he’s even on the poster! He’s hardly in the movie and enjoys disappearing when he’s actually needed;
• See more of chibi Kakashi, that was seriously a tease he only gets a small cameo, what was even the point in having him there;
• Naruto learning more about Minato and Minato passes on some good wisdom/advice.
Of course there’s none of that, or little itty bitty hints to tease the audience with – cruel movie producers. I can only hope Bloody Prison will be better, but then again trailers are misleading.
Some queens are benevolent while others are malicious and they tend to rule in the absence of a king. Even when a king is present, sometimes the queen can be the true power behind the throne. Whatever the case, any queen worth her merit is a powerful mix of beauty, power, and resolve.