I think this will be a short review, for now. Partly, because I want to go back and watch Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan. As best as I can, I will keep this moderately spoiler free.
I just want to start of by saying, I loved Dragon Ball Z as a kid. I wasn’t allowed to watch it, because my parents felt it was too violent. But, they installed a TV in my room and I watched one episode and was so instantly hooked. I’m not saying I’m a fan of violence, but I really enjoy martial arts and fighting. I also like the adrenaline I get from constant yelling, screaming, explosions. I love action.
Can I start of by saying, during the fight sequences of Dragon Ball Super: Broly (DBSB), my first thought was ‘Michael Bay would love this’. There was an inexplainable amount of explosions. If you’re not a fan of the series, this might be nonsensical and a tad over dramatic, but as someone who has watched this since she was 8, it brought back a lot of old memories. On the topic of fight sequences, I really enjoyed the choreography. Yes, there were moments when the fighting animations were a sequence of blurs, exaggerated lines and a lot of mouth close ups. That being said, however there were slowed down moments of well choreographed fights, flips, round houses, moments that were not just slow motion, but just simply fluid fights. I particularly enjoyed Vegeta and Broly’s first fight. I’m not a fighter, so I cannot make too much commentary on the moves and techniques, but i can tell you I paid attention to the refined movements. It was a lot more than the blurry fast paced punches and kicks that Dragon Ball Z once offered. It was nice to see that there was a bit more thought into the animation and actual technical movements.
Which goes into a point I did not care much for. What is Dragon Ball without super saiyans? Not much, but within the first 15 minutes of the movie we already see Vegeta go through Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan Rose and Super Saiyan God. I understand timing is an issue that limits the movie, but they really plowed through it fast. I suppose maybe it is also to emphasize the sheer raw power of Broly. Even so, it took me out of the movie for a brief moment.
Now, something I can talk about is characters. I loved how the first 8-12 minutes of the movie we get a back story. We get to see the mass saiyan genocide. We get to see how Goku is basically anime’s super man, how Broly came to be and we even see a brief bit of Vegeta’s previous personality. There was not much character development, but considering this a movie from an anime series that is long established and already developed its characters. That being said, I loved Broly and his backstory. I liked the way his character was portrayed and almost tragic. From what I remember, in Dragon Ball Z: Broly – LSS, I really wanted Goku to just win and kill off Broly. Not so much this one. I also loved Vegeta. He was … just everything I’ve loved about him. Gruff and tough on the outside, wanting to be a great warrior, but really just a big softie, especially regarding his daughter and wife. There was also some moments of humour, that played on the character’s personalities, not just some… forced in thrown out humour, in hopes of making it funny. I also liked that Goku was just not ridiculously OP and in some trite deus ex machine moment, he some how over powers everyone and wins.
Another thing I really enjoyed was more Vegeta equality. This is 100% bias, because my favourite character in the whole series is easily Vegeta. I felt that he was not just thrown around and tossed about, just to prove Goku is the strongest. He actually held his own. And he was needed for Goku to have some hope of winning and I greatly appreciated that. I had felt before and in previous movies, Vegeta is generally quite strong and holds up, but eventually gets over powered and just destroyed. In this one, while he does get beaten, and Goku intervenes, Vegeta isn’t tossed like a sad rag doll with a giant “GOKU IS BETTER” sign on his back. I hate when characters are used for this kind of stupid emphasis on the main hero. Which comes to another point, the useless Z fighters – I’m really just looking at Yamcha – aren’t standing around useless for exposition to explain the power levels, battle stances and basically omnipresent narration of the main fighters thoughts.
I watched the dub. I can’t watch the Japanese, because I can’t handle Goku’s actual voice. But I loved the voice acting. Sean Schemmel, Christopher Sabat and Vic Mignogna did great. They real nailed the anime yell. This might sound confusing, but hear me out. A lot of shounen anime is abundant in yelling. Most actions anime, arguably, has a lot of yelling, screaming. Whether it’s powering up, swimming a punch or sword or just yelling because their frustrated, there is so much yelling. But for whatever reason the japanese voice actors, put their feelings into the yelling and when english voice actors yell it’s… forced. rehearsed. It’s not convincing. At least not in newer dubbed anime. but Schemmel, Saba and Mignogna did great. When they respective characters were in pain, it sounded like it. When Broly was frustrated, angry and losing his sanity, I really felt Mignogna portrayed that amazingly. I can’t even speak about Sabat, because he is my favourite good-dad Vegeta. (Brian Drummond, was a great evil Vegeta). But for my english-dub loving audience, this is not a disappointing dub. It doesn’t take you out of the movie experience.
I really, cannot go into much detail, without delving in spoiler territory. In a time to come, I do want to watch Dragon Ball Z: Broly – Legendary Super Saiyan and Dragon Ball Super: Broly and have a more detailed spoilerific comparison, but for now… my two cents.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly is an excellent film. If you are a fan of the DBZ series or maybe you enjoy DBS, i highly recommend this film. It had a real plot and story line, amazing fighting scenes and the characters – old and new – were enjoyable to watch. I give it two thumbs up, and super saipan god tier marks.
thanks for reading!