Dragon Ball Super: Broly (2019)

Opening in a limited theatrical engagement on January 16thvisit “Dragon Ball Super: Broly for theaters & showtimes.

I haven’t kept up with “Dragon Ball Super” but thankfully the feature films don’t require a lot of catch up for casual fans. I went in to “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” basically without having known many of the characters, and had a good time just the same. While ““Dragon Ball Super: Broly” is a very good “Dragon Ball Z” film, it’s also a pretty darn good tale about the deeper back story of character Vegeta and Goku, and how deeply rooted their nemesis Frieza has been in their entire lives.

After their home fell under the rule of King Cold, three Saiyans were nurtured to become warriors and possibly overthrow Prince Frieza. Warrior Paragus was exiled along with his baby Broly, when it was discovered that his powers outmatched Prince Vegeta’s own. With plans to have Prince Vegeta rule, King Vegeta raised his son, while Broly and his father became assistants, and inevitably tools for King Frieza. Years later as Goku, and Vegeta were subjected to their own fates, and managed to rise up as heroes, Frieza returned to collect the Dragon Balls. But Frieza is accompanied by Paragus and his son Broly, a fierce warrior who poses a threat to his fellow Saiyans.

“Dragon Ball Super: Broly” has a much more interesting story than I originally figured it would, as it uses its hundred minute run time to wisely unfold the events before jumping in to the action. Goku and Vegeta are mainly the heroes that have to take on Broly, all the while Broly is essentially the primary antagonist. Broly represents one of the many fates of Goku and Vegeta, as one is an alien who became a hero, one is a conqueror who redeemed himself, while Broly never experienced such an advantage and spends most of his life as a pawn to the slimy Prince Frieza. Broly is a very interesting anti-hero who manages to hold his own against the Saiyan warriors and has a very bittersweet tale that revolves around him mainly being a friendless warrior whose entire life built to him being just a crony to Prince Frieza.

Frieza is his same old obnoxious spineless self and he is a purely despicable force of evil who does everything he can to pit the Saiyans against one another. Once the action kicks in, “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” is a very exciting film with some interesting moments of tension, as well as some small moments of comedy. The disastrous fusion dance moment is hilarious. You can almost feel the stakes rise the longer the battle ensues, as Broly reveals himself to be a superior warrior to Goku and Vegeta. Once Goku realizes it, he sets out to help Broly realize that he should be an ally and not a foe, thus setting the stage for a character that could either become a formidable villain, or an ally that can put a stop to Frieza’s reign once and for all.

The animation is crisp and beautiful, the editing is wonderful, and I was very much sucked in to the personal battle between Goku, Vegeta, and Broly, all of whom had their own approaches to the huge fight that unfolded. I look forward to seeing another chapter and where Broly develops as a saiyan that Goku acknowledges is more powerful than he is. Fans of “Dragon Ball Super” will definitely enjoy the personal battle that the film becomes; I soaked in the action and had a good time.