Let's start from the beginning. The movie lasted from 9:35 to about 11:20, which makes it almost 2 hours long. It didn't feel long or boring though, which is a good thing. I'll say beforehand that - all in all - I liked it, thought I might be biased... XD;; But I do really think that they handled the characters fine, definitely better than in the other movies. As usual, some of them didn't make more than a "bonus appearance", but at least they made sense... Not like how Kakashi was used in the first Shippuuden movie..... (yes I disliked that part, though Kakashi vs the 3D soldiers made me laugh)
The first thing we see (note: I completely forgot about this part... I started the review with the soranin, then a long time later I remembered... Sorry Sasuke X°DDDD) is Sasuke sitting in a small cave behind a waterfall. The purpose of this scene is to make him look strong and cool, so he stands up (he's half naked, obviously) and goes towards the waterfall, he puts his head under the water (closeup of Sasuke's hair falling down with the flow; fanservice anyone? 8D) and makes a Chidori that flows down the waterfall and the river. ZOMGkewwwwllll *-* Lol. Whyyyy.
EDIT: Another thing that I forgot... When Sasuke appears the music playing in the background reminds of a western movie...... (you might undersand while I forgot it, lol) I remember the music playing another time too, later on, when Sasuke is around.. I'm tempted to buy the OST just to listen to that track and laugh X°DD
The first thing (my mind had censored the Sasuke part) The second thing we see are a few sci-fiesque 3D ships, kinda like spaceships on the water. I don't really love the 3D effect mixed with the rest of the animation, but this time it was a lot less disturbing than in the first Shippuuden movie (at least there was no Kakashi fighting agains- err did I already mention that? 8D). Flying ninjas came out of the spaceships and headed towards a village... Guess which? Yeah, Konoha! I don't know if you've happened to see the flying ninjas on the latest movie trailers, but anyway, they're flying with some kind of mechanical wings, not Dragonball-style (=just with their bodies).
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, the flying ninjas attack Konoha from the sky with bombs and destroy a few buildings. Many people are injured, some maybe die, but it's not clear because there's no blood around... I thought Japan wasn't afraid of scaring children with ommmmggggg blooooodd eeekkk evilll but oh well... Foreign broadcasters will be happy, they won't have to censor the scenes themselves
We see random known faces helping people, that is Chouji, Neji, Shikamaru and Kakashi. Neji does us the favor of explaining how the flying ninja fly, and Shikamaru is even so kind as to give them a name, that is "soranin" (I don't know if he just invented it or he knew that they come from the Sora no Kuni, aka Sky Country). Apparently they concentrate chakra on the mecha wings or something like that. Smart, isn't it? Tsunade explains that Konoha confronted and destroyed (well, supposedly) the Sky Country during the last Shinobi World War, but obviously they survived and now they're angry and want to get revenge against the Fire Country, zomg, can't you sense the depth of this plot???
Naruto is walking through the rubble, when he spots a middle-aged guy that turns out to be a doctor and treats the wound of an injured man. Naruto takes the man to the hospital, and there we meet Sakura and Hinata who are taking care of the wounded. A boy that basically has "I'm this movie's main original character" written all over his face suddenly enters from the window. He's looking for his sensei but he faints. Guess who his sensei was? Yeah, that man from the rubble, Shinnou.
Apparently the boy has come all the way from his village to inform Konoha that they'd been attacked, and he was looking for the sensei to help cure the people who ended up injured. A special 3 people team is formed and sent to help the village. Since they're supposed to help cure the inhabitants, the team is composed of Naruto, Sakura and Hinata (plus Shinnou and the boy, Amaru). For a moment I thought "UGH I can sense the NaruHina fanservice..." but in fact there was almost nothing of it, luckily. On the other hand, there was lots of NaruSaku fanservice (well, Saku->Naru actually!), which kinda made me happy (Sorry, but if I have to choose a [het] pairing, I'm all for NaruSaku ;p)
The team travels on small rowing boats down a river, because the forest is full of eerie beasts and poisonous animals. Suddenly a soranin appears above them, so they hide by the riverside. The boat with Naruto and Amaru is too far from it, thus Naruto throws both of them in the water not be spotted. When the soranin goes away Naruto resurfaces, but Amaru gets caught in the weeds while he's trying to retrieve his precious scalpel (which was obviously a present by his beloved sensei. Did I mention that he's Shinnou's apprentice?). Naruto saves him, and when he does he finds out something: Amaru has boobs! 8D Amaru quickly zips up his vest (no [s]he wasn't naked, but you could see the shape of his errr her boobs under the shirt). Naruto blushes and then faints because a poisonous piranha-like fish had bitten him...
When Naruto wakes up he's still blushing, also because Amaru is sucking the blood out of the wound, which is very high on his thigh.... This scene is kind of disturbing, I mean, it reminded me of the last line from the end of Shippuuden's 1st movie (in short -> "Naruto, let's have babies!"). Are the movie writers still having fun with adolescentboy!Naruto? XD;;; Anyway, maybe I should take back what I said about Japan not wanting to scare children, LOL...
Thanks to Amaru's sucking medical ability, Naruto is safe and sound. They walk through the forest towards the village, and in the meanwhile Naruto tells Amaru that he noticed he's a she, plus he suggests that she might be in love with Shinnou. He obviously gets slapped hard in the face... (as always in the movies, Naruto is more of a comical relief than he is in the manga). They finally reach the village, but something unexpected is waiting for them...
Cliffhanger! Let's go back to Konoha for a moment... (Actually I think this part was way earlier, but I don't remember the exact point so yeah) After the attack, the soranin went back to their base because they didn't have enough chakra to keep on flying around, so another special team was sent to look for the location of said base. We see Sai approaching the ships on one of his ink birds, apparently to catch their attention according to some plan Shikamaru thought. Shikamaru and Kakashi are waiting on the shore, hidden behind some rocks. Sai has no problems dodging and taking out all of the soranin that attack him, which is a bit errr weird? I mean, ok, they only sent a small squad against him, but still, if he alone was able to do that, how come Konoha was so overwhelmed by the same ninjas just a moment earlier?? But anyway, we'll ignore this (and all the similar things that'll happen from now on, lol).
Before going back to Naruto & co... I have the feeling this part was way earlier too, but anyway... XD;;; We see Sasuke in Orochimaru's lair. Orochimaru is sitting in his bed, evidently ill, and Kabuto is standing beside it. Kabuto tells Sasuke that the soranin are attacking Konoha, and he obviously answers that he doesn't care. Orochimaru orders him to go and get a man who will able to help him perfect his reincarnation jutsu. Guess who the man is, lol...
Back to Naruto's team. When they reach the village they find out that it's been burnt down and the inhabitants are nowhere to be seen. Amaru starts to cry and runs around, looking for the people. She inadvertently tramples on a trap and a bunch of kunai flies towards her, but Shinnou steps in and protects her. He falls down, his body pierced by kunai here and there. Sakura, Naruto and Hinata run to the scene, but it's too late and Shinnou dies.
...Actually... Basically, you see Sakura and Hinata going there right after Shinnou has been pierced, but they only start to treat him after Amaru has yelled for a while "no please don't leave me" blabla... Why? I mean, aren't they supposed to run to him and start curing him right away??? They were like, standing there while he was bleeding and dying... XD;; That was a bit weird, but anyway... (I think the people sitting around me thought that weird too, because I heard some mumbled comments here and there, lol)
Amaru is very sad for the death of her sensei, but they have to keep on looking for the villagers (they find no corpses, so they assume they are alive somewhere, maybe hidden). In the meanwhile, Sasuke is in the area too, slashing random snakes in the forest (he really is too mean to animals ). I wonder how he knew that Shinnou was there, but oh well...
I don't exactly remember how they ended up separated, but at one point Hinata is gone and Naruto & Sakura finds themselves in front of an evil monster/spirit thing which claims to be a creature that feeds on the darkness coming from human souls, and has basically taken over Amaru... Obviously, they have to fight her/it. It's kinda like a big tentacled worm or something like that. They sure like tentacles in the movies... (But Kishimoto likes them as well, after all)
Sakura is taken out right away (did you have doubts?), so Naruto is left to fight alone. The creature grabs him and senses that he has a huge dark power hidden inside of him, thus he taunts him and tries to make him use it, mentioning that he's not able to save anyone without using it, that he couldn't even save Sasuke etc etc (yeah these creatures always seem to be able to read people's minds, lol, it's useful...). Naruto is having a hard time, and I bet at least half of the people in the room thought: "Will Sasuke jump out of the bushes and save his ass?". I also feared that for a moment (it would've been too cliché, I wouldn't like that ), but this was not the case...
Since they just HAVE to show off the Kyuubi every single time, the creature manages to force Naruto to transform not only into usual Kyuubi, but even into the 4-tailed one... He fights for a while, ya know, just to show how cool he is when animated by the movie team, then he reverts to normal because of a protective seal which was given to him by Jiraiya (via Sakura). This part is a bit, errr, unlikely, because even if Naruto were able to go back to normal only by having that in his pocket, he should at least be very very tired, not to mention wounded or about to faint, but he was none of that...
Talking to Amaru, he manages to convince her to ignore the darkness in her own heart, and the creature vanishes. Sakura is fine, she wakes up [in Naruto's arms] and punches him in the face because she's embarassed that he was looking at her. I told you that this movie is full of Saku->Naru moments! Anyway, they decide to part ways. Sakura will go to Konoha to ask for support, and Naruto will go to look for the villagers (and Hinata). Amaru was supposed to go with Sakura but since she's the main OC she stays with Naruto because she wants to help him.
They reach some old ruins (something Shinnou talked about) and enter them. While Sakura is going away she turns around and sees the ruins take off and fly away. Yeah... It kinda reminded me of the last Indiana Jones movie, lol. Anyway, in the meanwhile, in a room deep inside the flying structure, surprise! A safe & sound Shinnou is mumbling evilly about conquering the world thanks to the power of the darkness or something like that. WTF, you might think, but indeed, if Orochimaru said that he knew something about resurrection etc, it makes sense that he wasn't that good of a character XD; Anyway, although his death looked too hasty, I personally didn't find it so obvious that he would turn out to be the movie's bad guy.
Naruto and Amaru reach the room. Amaru is happy that his sensei is alive. She runs to him and hugs him, but Naruto senses that something is not right... Shinnou doesn't even pretend to be good, he just makes fun of them (especially Amaru) for trusting him. He throws Amaru on the ground and starts to act like a real villain, that is explaining he's been researching on the power of darkness for about 15 years and that he's finally found in Konoha the only thing that he was missing to complete his work, that is a secret scroll with a reincarnation jutsu or something written on it. That's also how he escaped death: he basically deceived Sakura and Hinata's medical abilities and then regenerated his body.
And now.... Transformation!!! This just had to come, lol. He transforms into, err, a big muscled man with naked chest and long spiky hair. He looks like a mix between a caveman, Hulk and a Super Saiyajin 4 (he only misses the fur around his chest). He and Naruto start to fight, but he's too strong and Naruto gets beaten around a lot. A lot. A LOT. I mean, for a long time they keep on fighting and it's just the Super Caveman 4 beating Naruto around and Naruto standing up again and going at him again and again. Though you might be happy to know that Naruto makes a Rasengan without using Kagebunshin at least twice (plust another time later on)
SCM4 (too long to type) tries to convince Naruto to use the Kyuubi's power, but he doesn't want to. By the way, Amaru is still on the ground crying. Because you see, the sensei was SO good to her... When she was little she was an orphan and had a weird illness, so nobody wanted to be close to her because they feared that they might be infected, but Shinnou cared for her and managed to cure her, and then made her into his disciple and even told her that he was proud of her, awwww! Moving, isn't it? 8D
Naruto tells Amaru that despite everything she shouldn't throw away her feelings toward her sensei, on the contrary, she should express what she feels. SCM4 comments like a villain would do, that is "Love will bring you nowhere, love is stupid, darkness is cool, blabla", but Amaru is eventually convinced by Naruto and tells her [ex-]sensei that she likes/loves him (considering the age of the girl and the sensei, all this thing of her being in love with him was a bit errr... Especially since it's supposed to be a movie for children XD;;; It was very platonic, but still @_@)