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'Boruto: The Naruto Movie' takes series to next generation

'Boruto: The Naruto Movie' takes series to next generation
The animated movie "Boruto: The Naruto Movie" (Viz Media)

"Boruto: The Naruto Movie," the latest feature in the popular "Naruto" series takes place more than 10 years after the Fourth Great Ninja War. Naruto has achieved his ambition and become Hokage (chief) of the Hidden Leaf Village. But he's so busy, he neglects his family — especially his teenage son Boruto — who's advancing rapidly in his training. Boruto, who inherited his father's impatience, temper and talent, becomes the student of Naruto's former rival, Sasuke.

An unscrupulous scientist persuades Boruto to adopt a mechanical device that enables the user to employ supernatural techniques that would otherwise take years to master. He uses it to cheat on his exams, but before he can get into too much trouble, the mysterious, white-clad villain Momoshiki and his henchman, Kinshiki, attack. They're after the staggering power of the Nine-Tailed Fox Demon that Naruto commands.

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Director Hiroyuki Yamashita pulls out all the stops in the climactic fight, using a spectacular array of CG effects to create the most flamboyant face-off in the history of the "Naruto" franchise. But those effects are deployed against a critically underdeveloped villain. Momoshiki may be a deadly adversary, but he's not very interesting.

Still, no "Naruto" fan will want to miss "Boruto," which suggests a new direction the franchise may take, now that the long-running TV series has finally concluded.

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"Boruto: The Naruto Movie"

In Japanese with English subtitles.

No MPAA rating.

Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.

Playing: Selected theaters, Sunday, 12:55 p.m., and Monday, 7 p.m.

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