TL;DR – A great step back into this world, and while it fumbles a bit in the middle, it starts and end on a strong note.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene, but images play throughout the credits
Back in the day, Dragon Ball Z was one of those shows that everyone in my age group watched almost religiously in the morning. From memory I watched all of the show, all the way to the end of Dragon Ball GT and then it kind of fell off my radar as I entered high school. Well a few years back I stumbled across TeamFourStar creating an abridged version of Dragon Ball Z and that flood of nostalgia came running back. Well today as a new movie dropped here in Australia I thought it was time to re-visit the past, to see who the show has evolved, and of course support the official release.
So to set the scene, forty years ago on the Planet Vegeta a convoy of ships arrive in orbit. Landing in the palace compound King Vegeta (Christopher Sabat) is introduced to Frieza (Christopher Ayres) his new master with a short temper. In his rage King Vegeta checked on his son and was aghast to find a low born baby in a nearby crib had a higher power level. So King Vegeta had the baby shot into space to concur an inhospitable planet (basically to kill the child). His father Paragus (Dameon Clarke) raced of to find his child, but in the process of saving him their ship is destroyed trapping them on the planet forever. Fast forward to today, and Frieza is back and on the march and needs new warriors to take on Goku (Sean Schemmel), Vegeta (Christopher Sabat) and the other warriors of the galaxy and two of his scouts have discovered a high power level off on a planet in the distant reaches of the galaxy.
This is an animated film, so of course the first thing I want to talk about is the animation, and goodness is it gorgeous. What this film does is take the animation style of the 1990s and elevates it in so many ways. You see it in the landscapes, these places that feel alive and have incredible texture, and it was good to get out to an icy area which we don’t usually venture to with Dragon Ball. You also see it in the fluid action beats, gone are the fighters going so fast that they disappear so you just have to animate two bunches of lines crashing into each other (well mostly gone). Instead, you see Goku and Broly (Vic Mignogna) smashing into each other, firing balls of energy at each other, turning the icy landscape into a hellish firescape. The one thing I don’t think quite worked at times was the blending of the more traditional 2D animation with more 3D elements. I think it worked fine at the start when it was Frieza’s ships, but towards the end they incorporate it into the battle and it feels a little jarring.
When it came to the story, it was a blend of the new and of the old. Right at the start the film does a good job of catching you up on the history of the Saiyans and why thanks to Frieza there are not that many left in the galaxy any more. When they jump to the present day a lot has happened since I last watched. There now being a God of Destruction called Beerus (Jason Douglas) lying around on the beach babysitting Bulma’s (Monica Rial) daughter. Now while this is a big jump, they go out of the way to throw out a couple of lines of dialogue here and there to give everything context which I appreciated. It did a good job of exploring Broly as a character, what drives him, and wow his dad is a real dick. Also the film is just funny at times, which I was not expecting, with some wonderful one-liners that had the whole cinema laughing along. Where the story is held up a little bit is most of the second act which is the main battle between Goku and Broly. This really starts to drag because the focus solely on the battle and while this is intense at the start, because there is no texture it starts to drag because it is just twenty minutes of Goku going through all his different Super Saiyan forms. Thankfully they move away from this in the final part of the film, but I wish they could have worked on this a bit more throughout.
In the end, do we recommend Dragon Ball Super: Broly? Yes, yes we do. Now this could just be my nostalgia showing, but I had so much fun here. Now it is not a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination. But the action is explosive, the characters are fun, and it builds on the world. More than this, it has made me want to search out everything I missed to catch up to see how we got to here.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Dragon Ball Super
Directed by – Tatsuya Nagamine, Naohiro Shintani & Kazuo Ogura
Story by – Akira Toriyama
Screenplay by – Akira Toriyama
Based on – Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama
Music by – Norihito Sumitomo
Japanese Voice Cast – Masako Nozawa, Ryō Horikawa, Ryūsei Nakao, Katsuhisa Hōki, Aya Hisakawa, Nana Mizuki, Bin Shimada, Tomokazu Sugita, Tomokazu Sugita, Masakazu Morita, Toshio Furukawa, Kōichi Yamadera, Masami Kikuchi, Kimiko Saitō, Masako Nozawa, Takuya Kirimoto & Banjō Ginga
English Voice Cast – Sean Schemmel, Christopher Sabat, Christopher Ayres, Dameon Clarke, Monica Rial, Erica Lindbeck, Vic Mignogna, Bruce Carey, Ian Sinclair, Jason Douglas, Sonny Franks, Veronica Taylor, Sonny Strait & Anthony Bowling
Rating – Australia: PG; Canada: PG; Germany: na; New Zealand: PG; United Kingdom: U; United States: PG