Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Dragon Ball Super; Broly - Movie Review

Written by Shiggins

A Super Saiyan worthy of the legend?

I've never been a fan of Broly's character from the original trilogy of films, but I'm a minority. Fans of Dragon Ball Z adore Broly and remember his great design and brutality, and so he has become a staple of the franchise, despite never being officially canon. Thanks to Akira Toriyama however, Broly has returned with his first appearance in the true Dragon Ball continuity. Is the original creator enough to make even a cold-hearted monster like me actually gain an appreciation for the behemoth?

Note: This is a spoiler-free review about the movie, but there will be some regarding Dragon Ball Super's ending.

Don't worry. Vegeta is not Broly's bitch this time.

Our story takes place after the events of Dragon Ball Super, with the Tournament of Power finished and the universe safe from harm. As Goku (Sean Schemmel) and Vegeta (Christopher Sabat) train their hearts out to prepare for what could be a devastating face-off with the newly resurrected Frieza (Chris Ayres), we see the tyrant himself has reassembled his Frieza Force and is looking for a new ally to take on the Saiyans he despises so much. This is when he comes across two more surviving Saiyans; Paragus (Dameon Clarke) and his son, Broly (Vic Mignogna). And while Paragus is a strong-willed soldier with an above-average power level, Frieza's focus is on Broly, who seems to have more latent power than any Saiyan before or after him.

The film itself actually starts with a complete reboot of the backstory, in which the Saiyan's planet Vegeta is destroyed by Frieza and Goku is given the Superman treatment. Like the original film, King Vegeta is afraid of the child Broly's power and has him exiled to a wasteland planet, causing Paragus to follow and get stuck there as well, and we even get a glimpse of little Vegeta, Raditz and Nappa!

Please bring back Raditz and the Ginyu Force, Toriyama-sir! Goku's brother has too much potential to ignore!
Fans of the original Bardock movie might find themselves disappointed with the subtle but major changes that take place here, such as Bardock (Sonny Strait) not being such a selfish dick, but the expansion of lore is worth it, and it's quite intriguing to watch the original creator give his own portrayal of a story we're all familiar with, making it his own for the first time.

And that brings us to Broly himself, who is... absolutely phenomenal.

"KAKA..." Oh wait, no! He never says that! Hooray!
Yes, it took Akira Toriyama's touch to make me give a crap about this character, but I can now finally say I love Broly. The previous incarnation was a serial killer, a monster who lived only to scream and roar and smash, all because Goku cried as a baby. He had nothing to him as a character, only as a murdering machine. Super's Broly on the other hand is shockingly sympathetic. He's anti-social, has literally never interacted with anyone except Paragus, and doesn't even seem to have a desire to fight. Super: Broly removes the stupid crying nonsense and instead focuses on his relationship with his father, which is what any great film should be about; Relationships!

Super: Broly introduces several other characters, of course, with the most major being Cheelai (Erica Lindbeck), a soldier for the Frieza Force who strikes a friendship with Broly and starts to see him for what he truly is. Also along for the ride are Kikono (Sonny Franks) and Berryblue (Veronica Taylor), Frieza's two advisors, an old veteran soldier named Lemo (Bruce Carey), and the first ever appearance of Goku's mother, Gine (Emily Neves)!

One scene that stands out for me is a canteen scene involving a large group of the Frieza Force. I don't think I've ever seen anyone in the Frieza Force just sit, chat and get drunk together like... people! It brings a startling humanity to an army we're so used to seeing as nothing but mindless pawns, and I hope it isn't forgotten for the future.
As with every Dragon Ball film, the plot is basic but not what we're here for and in all fairness, Super: Broly has a far stronger three-act structure than most of them. The first act spends its time giving us a fascinating increase of lore, making us care about the new Broly, and catching us up with Goku and co. The second act is spent on Broly finally facing off against the protagonists, and the third act.... well, I'll keep that a secret if you've somehow managed to avoid spoilers about it.

The action in the last two thirds is absolutely insane, with gorgeous visuals and a land that changes from ice to fire in a matter of punches. Broly's form constantly changes as he learns to evolve through this battle, and the stakes keep rising as the two protagonists are pushed to the edge the longer the fight goes on. By the time Broly reaches his most iconic form, they're already exhausted and the worst of it has yet to pass!

Vegeta will no longer be fodder!
Every punch is fast and brutal, to the point it can sometimes be hard to see, but it still looks gorgeous. The flashing lights, several one-shot scenes, and even a genius minute where we see through the eyes of Broly during his first clash with Goku. All of this is done through new animation that fits the more traditional style, which I'm surprised to see stood out so well against the newer cleaner style that Super has adapted for the recent episodes.

People have been saying Dragon Ball Super; Broly is the best film of the franchise, and I'm struggling to decide if I agree. While it definitely has the best drama and some of the best action, I'm comparing it to Battle of Gods, which felt more important in terms of development for Goku and Vegeta. Both films are fantastic however, and they are the best the franchise has to offer. I'm just too close to the movie to decide at this point.

On a final note, I am absolutely loving the paths this franchise is taking, and Super: Broly has only made me even more excited. The horrors of Frieza, the development of our favourite characters, and even the final line of dialogue all hint towards great potential for the future. Dragon Ball is doing amazing, and I can't wait to see what Toriyama has got up his sleeves next.

Movie Rating: 8.5/10

Best Performance: Sean Schemmel as Son Goku (I saw the dub).

Best Part: The new Broly.

Worst Part: Surprisingly little of Planet Vegeta.

"Me, a monster? No. I am... a surprisingly nice guy."
Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on or go to his tumblr page


  1. Can't believe you didn't mention the soundtrack and it's unique choices.
    This movie was awesome, most of my negatives are pretty minor such as Bardocks characterisation and Broly lack of lines for 2/3 of the movie. This movie is without question in the top 3 best dragonball films and I think it really did a lot to have Broly earn his place as such a popular character. To think it was almost a year ago when Broly was announced as the main focus and the fandom was really divided but so far the reviews from critics and fans have been overwoverwhelming positive. Male Kale Power Maximum

    1. The review was getting a bit long but there are one or two things I regret not mentioning, including the surprising change of brutality when it comes to Broly's iconic smashing Goku off the ground. It was horrific in this version!

      I do agree more Broly lines would have been good, but they knew exactly how to build him up as a tragic villain. Every line he had was enough, which is a testament to how good the writing is.

      Trust me, I was mostly against Broly too. I usually hate this guy! But it turns out he's a good ripoff of Kale.