[This review will not contain spoilers outside of what has been shown in promotional material and trailers]
Dragon Ball is a series that I’ve followed since I was 4 years old. It’s characters, stories, and fights have always stuck in my mind and brought me an immense amount of entertainment and I doubt that will ever change. The movies however….ehhhhhhhhhh. The Dragon Ball movies have never been as fun to watch me for some reason. A lot of them have either unremarkable villains, such as Lord Slug, or have and extremely frustrating story like Resurrection of F. Both of these points ESPECIALLY ring true for Broly-The Legendary Super Saiyan. Broly as a character was completely ridiculous and his origin was laughable so when I heard they were bringing him back in a new movie I was originally lukewarm to the concept. However I can say that not only does this new movie turn Broly into a more interesting and fun character, it is also one of, if not the best Dragon Ball movie I have ever seen.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly starts out with an amazing intro on Planet Vegeta, the home world of the Saiyans, and you see the introductions (and re-introductions) of many classic characters to the series, such as Bardock, King Cold, Paragus, and the titular character Broly. They also reboot the original reason Frieza wanted to destroy Planet Vegeta (as this is a slightly altered adaption of Dragon Ball Minus) and we learn the eventual fates of Goku, Vegeta, and Broly. This intro is by far the most cinematic part of the film as it takes its time showcasing all of the main Saiyans, their parents, their motivations, and world and it was one of my favorite aspects of the film. Dragon Ball isn’t usually known these slower story segments especially in recent years so it was a nice change of pace for the series. And keeping up with that another great change they made was to Broly himself as he is portrayed more sympathetic and naive than he was in his original movie, which I think is for the best as his older iteration quite literally had the personality of a steak.
I don’t know how to transition from this.
The Animation Looked Really Nice.
The color choices and framing of every shot made this film an absolute joy to the eyes. Every frame of animation had so much weight to it that when the inevitable final fight scene happened you practically felt every punch that landed.
Now as much fun as I had with the movie there are some issues that need addressing. For one it doesn’t do a great job introducing the plot events of the preceding series (Dragon Ball Super) to new viewers. It only barely mentions the events of the Tournament of Power arc. Another is that after the intro scene on Planet Namek the rest of the movie is quite literally one long fight scene. While this doesn’t necessarily bother me it does essentially mean that the movie stops and only focuses on the action and I can see that bothering some people but I think for the type of movie Broly is, it shouldn’t be a deal breaker. It’s meant to be a big spectacle and while it would be nice to see maybe a BIT more story, I thought what was there was engrossing enough to keep me invested with its characters.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly achieved exactly what it set out to do. It brought back a fan favorite character with a much needed backstory retcon and back it up with a fun plot and non stop action While the movie is split in half, it’s not a big problem as it isn’t trying to be anything more than what it is. Pure entertainment. I highly recommend this movie if you’re a fan of Dragon Ball and even if you aren’t I still think the fun dialogue and action packed fight scenes are more than enough to rope you in and keep you entertained.