Dragon Ball Super: Broly Review

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***Spoilers Below***

It’s crazy how big some of these movies blow up when out for a limited time in theaters. I remember the theater being packed when the My Hero Academia movie released, so it was no shock that the same thing could be seen for Dragon Ball Super: Broly. It really makes you wonder why they don’t simply release these movies like everything else in North America. Either way, here we are with this new addition to the Dragon Ball Super franchise, and who wouldn’t want to see the Broly movie that those who have already seen it are raving about?

Upon seeing this movie myself, I couldn’t help but have mixed reactions about this movie in contrast to the other two. Don’t get me wrong, at the end of the day I enjoyed this movie, however there was a lot of things they did risky going back to the times of Planet Vegeta and the origin of Broly.

Let’s start with the positives of this movie. The pacing was great. The pacing and the momentum of this story carried over from the same things they did with the Tournament of Power. Not too much time talking unless necessary is always a plus. There was plenty of set-up and things to address about the points in time that this story took place, but we never spent too much time on dialogue over action. I mean, if we wanted that, we could easily go back to the tv series. While plenty of the past was also rehashed, there was just as much new content added to those last moments before the end of the Saiyan race. It was also welcomed that there was more perspective to take from what was going through everyone’s heads at that time. The twisting of Broly’s origins was something to get used to. You get so used to this berserk giant who was just simply out of control and angry because of the baby who wouldn’t let him sleep in peace. Now they’ve added more context to his situation and with greater motivation to hate both Goku and Vegeta. The addition of his father as well was interesting since he steered the direction of this vengeance quite effortlessly. It was obvious seeing where things could go wrong, but it was the role he played that mattered more than anything else.

Planet Vampa nonetheless was a creative destination to send Broly. The exploration of this planet made it easy to understand how Broly would be was raised with that burning desire for vengeance and develop this “unbelievable power”. The exploration in general was a treat since some of the most appealing aspects of Super are the things that we discover beyond Earth.

The difference in Goku and Vegeta stood out from the very start, and that was something worth recognizing for their usual habits that would have gotten pretty old in this movie. They had their moments of playfulness, they had more moments where they took this situation seriously. Overall, they had their heads in the game from start to finish which left little room for predictable errors on their part. The stunts they pulled in the other two movies would have made no sense to risk trying again when the enemy is Broly.

Compared to Battle of the Godz and Resurrection F, Broly is the most action-packed. I mean, off the bat they already did better than the other two movies just for cutting all the cannon fodder. Too many times these stories will lean into everyone getting the crap beat out of them, and then Goku and Vegeta swooping in to save the day. You know, because they can never be there from the start when you need them. This changed things up where we were able to jump right into the fire. The choreography of the fights was the best thing that this movie had going for it. It went without saying that Super as a whole stands out because it took us back to a place where the fighting styles and techniques outweighed everything else. The shift in stances, many counters, and just the flow of one move into the next made all of it so engaging. The only time you could be taken out of the fight is when they start leaning on blasting and effects that are for the most part unneeded. How Frieza was even dragged into the fight was highly entertaining. You just knew that seeing Frieza in gold form had to mean that he was involved in some way. That was actually my favorite moment since he wasn’t entirely taking this seriously until forced to.

Frieza truthfully was a source of humor that I did not expect. We all wondered what his plans would be now that he’s alive again, and this did not disappoint. We learn that nothing has changed entirely for the guy, but he at least thinks before he acts now. Particularly when it came to that one thing that would drive Broly into full berserk mode.

I couldn’t help but have some issues with the transition between the last story arc and this movie. Everyone seemed so blown away by the power of Broly, but this isn’t the first time that any of them encountered this kind of power. Kale and Kefla are the first experience that these two have had against that power level, and they defeated someone with that power level. So what makes Broly so different. Is it because he’s just Broly? A big plothole if you ask me. Especially if they are bold to even throw it in there that Broly could surpass Beerus. Impossible when that kind of power hasn’t even been put to the test against Ultra Instinct. Next we have the power difference between Vegeta and Goku. I was cool with the idea that Vegeta already mastered Red. However, if he was still excelling at this rate, how does Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta have a harder time with Broly than Goku? I know I wasn’t the only one bothered by this too.

Despite the action being able to excite, there was the problem of the animation style which took over when key action sequences were executed. It looked like they pretty much stole the animation style of the videogames. If there’s one way to distract a viewer, it is with drastic changes to the visuals. Especially when you are jumping back and forth between 2D and 3D. I would have preferred something of just a higher quality like what they did with the bigger fights from the Tournament of Power. That was smarter decision-making. This was not.

I would never say that this movie was overhyped, because that is a personal problem. What I will say is that this movie didn’t completely meet expectations. Dragon Ball Super: Broly was action-packed, it was thrilling, and it was humorous. I admittedly laughed more than I thought I would. There just happened to be one too many things that they took risks on that ultimately did not pay off.

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