One of Dragon Ball Z’s most iconic villains gets a new origin in the latest feature length animated film. Is the first “Super” branded Dragon Ball film worth checking out? Come inside for the full review!
It’s been great to see the resurgence of Dragon Ball Z over the last few years. From new animated films (that actually fit into the canon), the ongoing series Dragon Ball Super, along with some impressive new games...it’s been a great time for fans. This month, the newest feature length film hits our shores, bringing with it the return of an iconic villain: Broly.
The new movie divides its time between a couple timelines, but the bulk of the primary story is set after the events of Dragon Ball Super’s current run. It shows Goku and Vegeta still working hard to improve themselves despite conquering every foe they’ve encountered ( it’s a point even the other characters bring up early on). I was a little concerned about being able to follow the story along because I haven’t been able to keep up with Dragon Ball Super like I’ve wanted to.
I’ve missed out on most of the latter storylines and was worried about getting lost. If you’re in a similar boat, there’s thankfully not much to worry about. While there are references to some events in the Super series, for the most part Broly tells its own story and can be easily enjoyed without having seen all the episodes. At most, I’d say you definitely need to watch the previous two films (Battle of Gods and Resurrection F) just to be more familiar with some of the characters you may not know.
More than just this, however, the story gives Broly an entirely new origin and the first act of the movie takes place in the past, before the planet Vegeta is destroyed by Frieza. There’s some recreations of events we’ve seen explored before, but the new angles/twists on them make them feel fresh. Personally, I enjoyed getting the chance to see Goku’s birth mother, as well as a more engaging take on Broly.
Moving into the present time period of the series, Frieza returns to Earth to once again collect the Dragon Balls. Along the way a team of scouts find Broly (and his Father) and Frieza takes the chance to put Broly’s insane power levels to the test against his hated enemies, Goku and Vegeta. From there an epic battle ensues with the two heroes having to work together and pull out all the stops in order to prevent Broly from destroying everything.
Despite so many loving the “Legendary Super Saiyan” villain, I personally never cared Broly and his stories. His motivation of being angered by Goku’s crying as an infant and seeking revenge is just...dumb. While the fights were cool, there was very little reason to care about the character. Dragon Ball Super:Broly, however, brings the character into the official ‘canon’ with a backstory that makes a whole lot more sense and makes you actually care about him.
Some of the basics remain the same if you were a Broly fan. His father, Paragus, is still there with his control remote but the reasoning for everything is changed. I don’t want to spoil it all here because, honestly, the new origin story is probably what I enjoyed most about the new film. It manages to humanize the character, making him far less of a villain this time and more of a sympathetic figure.
While the action was incredible, and some of the most interesting I’ve seen from the DBZ films, what I enjoyed most about it, was how it dedicated so much time to actual story/character building. One of the primary things that have always been lacking in DBZ movies is character development (well, that and continuity). Frankly, they never had enough time to do so, but coming in at the longest Dragon Ball film to date, Broly has the opportunity to expand on the story and suck you into the characters before kicking the action into overdrive. I mean, I went into this screener not caring much for Broly in general, but by the time the credits rolled I’m eager to see what happens with him next and where his story can go.