Written by Akira Toriyama and directed by Tatsuya Nagamine, Dragon Ball Super: Broly is an anime epic that introduces previously non-canonical legendary Super Saiyan known as Broly (voiced by Vic Mignogna in the Funimation version.) He is a powerhouse enemy that rivals the abilities of protagonists Goku and Vegeta. The fans have been waiting for Toriyama to canonize Broly into the Dragon Ball universe. The question is, does it live up to the hype?
The film begins with King Vegeta (Christopher Sabat), jealous of Broly’s strength over his son Prince Vegeta (also Christopher Sabat), sending him away to a desolate planet. His father Paragus (Dameon Clarke) tracks him down, but damages his vessel, stranding him and his son on the planet. Years later, while Prince Vegeta is away, Bardock (Sonny Strait) and his wife Gine (Emily Neves) send their son to Earth, sensing Frieza (Christopher Ayres) is about to destroy the Saiyan home-world. This child Saiyan would become the hero Goku (Sean Schemmel).
In modern day, Goku and Vegeta are training after the ‘Tournament of Power,’ getting ready for the next fight as Lord Frieza has returned to life. Two of Frieza’s minions discover Broly and Paragus stranded and bring him back. Upon realizing the warrior’s power, Frieza takes him to Earth.
Goku and Vegeta encounter Broly and at first, they seem to be defeating him, but, Broly morphs into a Super Saiyan from merely observing the transformation. The two rival protagonists will have to do more than work together, but will have to fuse in order to defeat this new enemy.
The movie does have some problems. The pacing feels a bit rushed. After the flashbacks, the series goes into overdrive with the plot and introduces a plethora of new characters that are not explained very well. The animation is somewhat inferior to the show. It pretends to be better, but it does not match the quality that fans are use to watching. I have a feeling Toei Company put pressure on their animation division to bring something original. It was not a decent gamble.
That being said, the movie brings Broly in canon in one epic way. His new story adds a depth to the character that had never been felt before. Instead of hating Goku because he was disturbed by loud crying, his anger is aimed at wanting revenge on Vegeta for his father’s sins. It makes him less of stand-in and an actual challenge. The movie retooling of this origin and of Goku’s father are superior to the previous non-canonical films and specials.
The battle sequences are well choreographed, especially the final one. Gogeta and Broly was epic and was incredible to watch the two go at it in a way that is satisfying. Of course, Schemmel and Sabat steal the show as the two Saiyan frenemies. Their performances are outstanding and you feel every moment of their dialogue.
To the original question, does it live up the hype? I am sad to report it does not. Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F was a superior film in pacing and imagination. That does not mean the movie is bad, it is just not as good as it could have been. Had it not been rushed and the animation on par with the show, it would have been a superior film. With that mind, it is an enjoyable retooling of an legendary anime villain and his fight with an iconic character. Maybe Cooler will be next.
FAVORITE QUOTE: Call me Kakarot.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Mild language, Violence
Check out the English trailer below:
Reminder, this review is based on the Funimation dub.
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