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Review: ‘Hunter X Hunter: The Last Mission’ is strictly for the zealous

Review: ‘Hunter X Hunter: The Last Mission’ is strictly for the zealous
A scene from the animated adventure "Hunter X Hunter." (Viz media)

“Hunter X Hunter: The Last Mission” (2013) is the second feature adapted from Yoshihiro Togashi’s popular manga, following multiple video series. Gon (pronounced “Gohn” with a long “o,” voiced by Erica Mendez in this English dub), the irrepressible hero of the series, and his friends Leorio (Matt Mercer), Kurapika (Erika Harlacher) and Killua (Christina Vee) head to the Heaven's Arena Battle Olympia Tournament. Their friend Zushi (Kira Buckland) is competing, so they want to cheer him on.

The tournament is derailed when a reincarnation of Jed (Billy Kametz), the former head of the Hunter Association’s black ops division, and his minions seize control of the skyscraper arena. They’re seeking revenge for misdeeds that occurred decades earlier, and their principal target is Netero (Ian Alden), chairman of the Hunters Association and the boys’ mentor. Jed and his agents fight with the mysterious force On that gains power from the user’s hatred — in opposition to the positive Nen power (Togashi's equivalent of the Force) that Gon and his pals use.

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The battles feature lots of the action that “Hunter” fans love. Gon fights using a fishing pole, Killua wields a mean yo-yo. Together, they take down a bizarre assortment of ogre-like creatures. But the story gets needlessly complicated with too many flashbacks, wordy declarations and an escalating string of fights that goes for too long. Eventually, Gon’s unshakable devotion to his friends wins out over Jed’s desire for vengeance.

Hardcore “Hunter” devotees may enjoy “Last Mission,” but the film lacks much of the good cheer and frisky élan of the broadcast series.

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‘Hunter X Hunter: The Last Mission’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 36 minutes

Playing: Starts Jan. 30 in limited release

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