Before I begin this review I have a confession to make, I have never watched more than a few episodes of the original Dragon Ball series, I have never finished Dragon Ball Z (I do own the first four seasons on Dvd), I haven’t watched GT or Kai and certainly haven’t seen a single episode of Dragon Ball Super. Going even further, I have never seen a single Dragon Ball movie before now and certainly never watched any of the franchise on the big screen. However, due to my day job, I know all about Goku, Vegeta, Frieza, the Saiyans, along with all of the various lore surrounding this universe.
It’s amazing how much of a cultural impact this franchise has made on pop culture since it’s manga debut in Shonen Jump in 1984 and it’s anime debut in 1986. Everyone knows kamehameha, spirit bomb, the fusion dance, Goku has even made it into the Macy’s Day Parade. Even if they have never seen a single episode or read a single issue of the many volumes available, most people know Goku or Shenron on sight.
Recently I was invited to get an early viewing of the latest in the franchise in the form of Dragon Ball Super: Broly so, of course, I had to be sure to tell all of you, just what I thought about the film. (hint* it was pretty freakin cool). Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything major that hasn’t already been in the trailers so, if you haven’t seen the trailers yet, you might want to do that before continuing.
After a great look at the origins of Goku, Broly and the Dragon Ball franchise, the story picks up soon after the Tournament of Power. Goku, after narrowly defeating Jiren in the Tournament, realizes that he must continue his training so that he will be able to continue to defend his Universe from any threat. Soon he comes face to face with a Saiyan named Broly and his father Paragus who happen to be helping Frieza in his attempt to claim the Dragon Balls for a potentially sinister wish.
The movie itself serves as the official canonization of both Broly and depicts the first ‘official’ appearance of Gogeta in the Dragon Ball Franchise. Even though Broly originally appeared in the 1993 film The Legendary Super Saiyan, creator Akira Toriyama never accepted this film or this character into the franchise’s official cannon causing the events of this and other films to not be part of the continuity. Additionally, although Gogeta (the fused form of Goku and Vegeta) first appeared in the film Fusion reborn, this character was never considered canon by Toriyama until now.
Despite the canonical revisions, Dragon Ball Super: Broly does an amazing job entertaining fans both new and old. Presenting itself as an origin story for not only Broly and Gogeta, but also providing the full back story of Goku, Vegeta and the DB Franchise, it manages to fill in the blanks for new fans while still remaining entertaining and fun for those well versed in the lore. Full of action, humor and an intriguing plot line, this was one of the most entertaining anime films I have seen in some time.
The animation itself was fantastic. Utilizing a combination of traditional hand drawn animation along with visually stunning computer graphics, there were moments on the screen that we mind blowing in every sense of the phrase. The battle scenes alone were some of the most epic and supercharged animated segments I have witnessed on the big screen. Every moment was carefully mastered with an amazing score by the famed musician Norihito Sumitomo, that gave the animation even more life throughout the film.
The Bottom Line
This is a perfect jumping on point for anyone who has ever wanted to see what all the fuss about the Dragon Ball franchise was all about. Packed with enough lore and backed with a fun filled story, this film shows that a 35 year old franchise can find new life even without the help by a wish from Shenron. With how entertaining this was, I do not see the Dragon Ball universe vanishing any time soon.
All in all Dragon Ball Super: Broly was a blast. Action packed, funny and delightfully entertaining this one is absolutely worth seeing in theaters and is a great start to a new year of films.
The film opens in the US on January 16, 2019 and will be the first Dragon Ball film to be in IMAX in select theaters. I highly recommend seeing this one in the theater, it is that good! To put it bluntly, I left with a grin on my face and a desire to watch more Dragon Ball the moment I got home.
Of course, the trailer:
Late To The Game 1/11/2019
Thank you for reading today. I hope you enjoyed the review. If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday. We also have a fun Retro TV Review series in which we are currently reviewing the entire Star Trek The Next Generation Series, episode by episode.
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