A Dragon Ball movie for fans and newcomers alike!
Now, I’m not exactly what you would call a Dragon Ball Z fan. Sure I caught a bunch of episodes before school on Cheese TV and always enjoyed it, but I could never keep up with the hundreds of episodes worth of chronology. It’s only of recent times, lately I’m going through a bit of a anime obsession, that I’ve properly discovered this franchise. I haven’t really delved much into Dragon Ball Z or Super yet, choosing to begin at the very start, where I’m about 40 episodes into Dragon Ball, and am thoroughly enjoying it. So when a mainstream release of a Dragon Ball movie was announced, I was really looking forward to witnessing this epic anime on the big screen, or even an IMAX screen!
Not having much experience with the movies namesake, Dragon Ball Super, I feared I may not understand anything going on. But thankfully for newcomers like me, they give you the whole backstory of how our hero Goku’s home world, Planet Vegeta is destroyed by the dastardly and stupidly overpowered Frieza. Luckily his parents shoved him in a capsule and sent him to Earth before this happened. Also a young Saiyan (the race that inhabit Planet Vegeta) named Broly looks like he has the potential to be more powerful than King Vegeta’s boy, and the King is having none of that, so he banishes him to a hazardous planet where he hopes he will just die off. But Broly’s father can’t just sit by and watch as they kill his son and abandons his home world to raise Broly. The two get stuck on this planet and have nothing to do but train for the years that the Dragon Ball animes took place.
Fast forward and two members of Frieza’s army in search of high powered recruits come across this planet, where they are receiving off-the-charts battle levels. They find Broly and his father and decide to take them back to Frieza, who is impressed. Frieza decides to pit Broly against Vegeta Junior and Goku and BOOM: cue epic Dragon Ball fight scene.
The main thing I am enjoying about the original Dragon Ball series is how silly it can be. And as Vegeta always likes to call him, Goku is a bit of a fool. If not a highly powered one, so in between all the crazy fights you get a bit of slapstick humour. And trust me, it’s needed!
It’s what I always remembered Dragon Ball Z for: huge fights that could last for weeks if you’re watching an episode a day. Entire episodes dedicated to each fighter powering up, and there isn’t much difference in this film. Most of the movie is one big fight between Goku, Vegeta and Broly. It always seemed in the anime: ‘Oh my God, how will they ever defeat this bad guy, the likes of which have never been seen!’ and then they pull out some new move that increases their power level and ‘Woohoo!’ They beat the bad guy. Rinse and repeat. Here, I found it hard to keep up with how many levels of Super Saiyan there are. Yellow, Pink, Blue. I’m not sure there is a limit to how powerful these guys can get, but I guess that’s the point. Goku is always training to become more powerful. But, DAMN, does it look good when the fight.
The visuals on the cinema screen were everything I hoped for. Watching this in IMAX I was absolutely blown away by how vibrant and intricate the fights are. Blasts of colour illuminated the theatre as the combatants weaved in and out, bashing the hell out of each other. The speakers screamed with each Super Saiyan roar and explosion (there’s a lot of them!). It just goes for a bit too long and after a while, honestly I tuned out.
If you are a fan of Goku and the Dragon Ball sagas, you must see this cinematic event. Or even if you’re just a fan of anime in general, it’s a worthwhile trip to the movies. But if you’re not interested in an hour long fight, I’d probably avoid it!
3 out of 5 GOOD WATCH