It’s the first proper movie review of 2019, and it’s not even Glass! Instead it’s a movie that I have more hype for than Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: Episode 9 combined. Yes, a Dragonball Super movie of all things. Let it be known I’ve been on a Dragonball kick since late 2017, having watched Dragonball Super, Dragonball Z and Dragonball series since that time. I’m still trying to figure out why I’ve been drawn to it so strongly recently. It might warrant a future blog post.
Anyways, for those of you not familiar with Dragonball, Broly is a movie antagonist that has existed in a semi-canonical state. He is pretty much the DB equivalent of the Hulk and has been a fan-favorite since his first movie. Even though in my opinion, the original Broly movies are not very good. However, this movie marks his first appearance as approved canon with series creator Akira Toriyama writing the movie. Can Toriyama flesh out the classic yet blandly characterized antagonist?
- Easily the best animation in a Dragonball film ever. This film was absolutely stunning with some of the coolest looking power ups and fights in the entire series. Many people have criticized the animation quality of the recent series (Super) and rightfully so. But this movie is the best the series has ever looked.
- The film adds a lot of back story to the destruction of the Planet Vegeta, home of the Saiyan race which our main characters come from. Many were worried about the changes that were going to be made, but I felt that the story in the movie is still very much in line with the series. I thought it was fascinating to see that story unfold in a new way.
- In the previous movies Broly was nothing more than a meathead with absurd power and anger issues. While I can’t say that the new iteration of Broly is deep or complex, there is something more to him this time around. His motivations are understandable and there is enough humanity in his character to make him likable.
- The movie is quite funny at some spots, with some great character moments including Frieza, Vegeta and Bulma. Let’s just say that you won’t expect why the Dragonballs are being gathered this time.
- I toughed on the story in several of my points, overall the plot is definitely better than your average Dragonball movie. Motivations are clear, characters act as they should, and it was just fun.
- The structure is a bit weird in this movie. This is a minor nitpick mind you. This is very common for Dragonball movies, since the focus is often the fight with the bad guy, the third act is much longer than normal.
- A lot of characters are no shows this go around. Again, a minor nitpick, but the focus of this plot is on the Saiyan characters and Frieza. So anyone who isn’t involved was cut out. So favorites like Gohan and Krillin are no where in the movie.
- This movie takes place after the tournament of power arc in Dragonball Super, so people who aren’t up-to-date on Dragonball might be a bit confused.
Awkward Walk-In meter:
Other than the fact that people might be weirded out by a bunch of dudes screaming at each other, there’s nothing too graphic or offensive with this movie. One of the Frieza Force soldiers does offer some minor “fan service,” but isn’t explicit enough to get anyone in trouble. This movie was rated PG, mostly for violence. (2/5)
The Dragonball movies have been fairly “meh” for the most part. However the last three entries have actually felt like actual movies instead of direct-to-tv specials. This one is definitely high up on the top tier Dragonball movies. But is it a good movie in general? There’s a few things that holds it back, namely it is made and directed for Dragonball fans. If you are new to the series, there’s a large learning curve to truly appreciate the movie.
If you are a fan of Dragonball, then you really ought to watch it. I watched it very recently so I’m still high off the hype. Time will tell if the movie holds up (For example: The Last Jedi wouldn’t have made the top 10 of 2017 if I did that list now). But I have a feeling that this will go down as one of, if not, the best Dragonball movie thus far.