The latest cinematic entry in the extensive Dragon Ball universe revamps the origin story of the isolated and tremendously powerful Saiyan Broly, and it does not disappoint.
This was a huge coup for domestic cinematic releases of anime franchises – the last Dragon Ball film, Resurrection F (2015), was a financial and critical success. Dragon Ball Super: Broly broke even more records, landing to a top 5 box office debut with a fraction of the screens other movies like Glass and Aqua Man had. This has pushed Toei animation and distributor Funimation to continue to invest in English dubs and domestic releases of Dragon Ball (and by extension, more ambitious ports of other massively popular foreign stories and franchises). In short, this is only the beginning of what seems to be a culture shift in the acceptance and prevalence of Japanese animation in American culture.
The movie itself is a blast. It was a non-stop, action-packed Dragon Ball episode that lasted 101 minutes. You can come into this movie blind, with no knowledge of the franchise, story, or characters, and come out a new fan of the franchise. Of course, it is much more rewarding for those life-long fans who have been following Goku’s journey from Dragon
The film is well laid out and carries a quicker pace than traditionally the serial installments of the show have had. There is a generous prologue segment that covers massive origin stories of major characters in the long-running series: The exile of Broly, a Saiyan with massive ‘latent ability’, the decision to send young Goku away from planet Vegeta before its impending destruction at the hands of the sinister mega-villain Freiza, and the adventures of young
After the prologue, the film focuses on titular heroes and often time rivals, Goku and Vegeta. The film occurs immediately after the conclusion of the Tournament of Destroyers in the Dragon Ball Super TV series, the highest-stakes conflict the Z fighters had ever faced and resulted in a narrow win for the Universe 7 team (the obliteration of their reality if they lost the tournament).
Everyone is content to train and enjoy a period of peace and quiet in the universe, but that doesn’t last long when the great conqueror Frieza announces his intent to gather the Dragon Balls and make a wish – one many presume to be to make himself immortal and no longer be susceptible to defeat from Goku, who has his number. The Dragon Balls become a macguffin for two opposing sides – Bulma, who wants to look five years younger, and Freiza, who wants to look five centimeters taller. Broly becomes a welcome distraction for the ever-scheming Frieza, who stirs the pot in classic fashion and sets off a fight unlike any Goku and Vegeta have faced before.
The film has a lot of classic comedic relief in the Dragon Ball
Go see this movie.