Broly The Legendary Super Saiyan has been my favorite DBZ film for a while now. I could never get past the fact that Broly is such a great villain and I loved the fight scenes. The soundtrack doesn’t hold up very well, but that won’t be an issue depending on what version you watch. This is still the best film to watch from a battle perspective and it can hold its own against any other film.
Our heroes are enjoying a nice day at the park when a spaceship arrives. It is filled with aliens who work for a Saiyan. He wants Vegeta to rule them on a new planet Vegeta. The Saiyan Prince is not interested until the Legendary Super Saiyan is mentioned. Vegeta can’t let this opportunity go by and he rushes off. Krillin and friends manage to tag along as well. Goku is sent by King Kai to take out the mysterious Saiyan as well and everything converges once Broly reveals himself. It is safe to say that the film never looks back from that point. This is the kind of film where the positives heavily outweigh the negatives so I will talk about some of those first.
This DBZ film probably had the best animation for a big DBZ film until Battle of Gods. The latter is much newer of course so everyone is a little more stream lined, but they still look very good. That being said, I think the animation in this film is able to capture the fights a little better. You really feel all of the blows and there is more destruction to he seen as the Z fighters battle Broly. So, I prefer the animation style in the Broly film, but Battle of Gods certainly keeps up with it. The only other film to reach this high level would be the Bojack film. The DBZ show already had pretty good animation, but you can instantly tell that this film has reached theatrical level.
It is a given that the fight scenes are amazing so I don’t really need to go into detail here. It is good to see Goku show off his hand ti hand skills even if they are ineffective. This film also had the iconic scene where Goku uses the Kamehameha, but it has no effect on Broly. That was definitely a scary moment for us all! The battles also take place in a city for the most part, which is pretty awesome. This is extremely rare for DBZ or just about any show for that matter. Cities will always make for the best backdrop in a fight and I wasn’t disappointed here. Getting thrown through a building will always send a chill down my spine. (I’m sure I would endure such a hit though…)
This is before Broly became a mindless monster in the sequels so he is actually pretty cunning in how he attacks the heroes. He catches Goku off guard by attacking from behind a building and he is constantly surprising the heroes when he appears from out of the blue. Considering that he can’t teleport and that the heroes can sense ki, it is a great speed feat. He is pretty deranged and the reason for his behavior is odd, but that may make it more realistic since a nut’s true nature can be ignited by any small spark. Broly is really everything that you could want in a villain and he really acts as a symbol for your average Shonen opponent. Through thick and thin it will always be fun to face off against such a strong looking opponent.
Goku looks very good as you probably suspected. He is easily the best character in the film and he certainly fights to the end. His unwavering determination and incredible strength have helped him become a top tier fighter so it makes sense that he puts up the best fight against Broly. Goku also doesn’t hold back for very long in this film, which shows how much he respects Broly’s power. You won’t be able to stop rooting for Goku here and he is basically the perfect main character. The film did a good job of keeping his character intact.
Unfortunately, most pf the other Z fighters do not look very good. Gohan feels a little underpowered as he doesn’t put much of an effort into the fight. Goku quickly makes him retreat and you can definitely agree with his decision. Gohan is still noble and it was good to see him helping the oppressed, but he should have looked like more of a fighter. Piccolo’s role is brief, but it is a good one. Once again, he gets to help Gohan out in a pinch and he revives all of the heroes for round 2. Zenkai Boost time! He is outmatched by Broly, but everyone was so it isn’t really a bad moment for Piccolo fans. His role in the films is definitely similar to Tuxedo Mask’s, but in a good way. Trunks is a fighter who is really a non factor here. He should be (remotely) close to Goku in power so you would expect more from him. He Is from the future after all. He mostly just get knocked around by Vegeta and the enemies the whole film. It’s great that he tagged along, but he should have lasted a little longer in the fight.
Unfortunately, the film’s greatest negative may have been its portrayal of Vegeta. They forgot that he is the Prince of all Saiyans and his bravery is matched only by his power. He is uncharacteristically afraid of Broly to the point where he refuses to fight the Saiyan and cannot move. He doesn’t even react as he is being mocked by Paragus and Piccolo just drops him 100+ feet into the ground without Vegeta even struggling. He finally does join the fray and only lasts for about a minute. The writers wanted to show that he is clearly inferior to Goku and that’s just not acceptable. At this point, they were roughly equal in strength and Vegeta would never back down from a fight. You have to watch the film to see just how bad it is, but the whole thing is preeeeetty bad. He also spends most of the first half of the film getting tricked by the villains. (And he doesn’t notice Broly’s attack on Goku during the night even with his perfect ki sensing abilities.
One sideplot that I thought was totally unnecessary was the part where we find out that the Saiyans had enslaved the locals and were forcing them to build the fake cities. I suppose that it adds some drama, but it would have been nice to have seen the Z Fighters stop the men before the whipping began. At their level of super speed it should have been an easy feat for them. Letting innocents get hit in the crossfire is not fun to see and the film could have done just as well without it.
Time to talk Power Levels. Judging from Broly’s power in this film, I’d place him at Super Perfect Cell at the very least, so he’s around SSJ2 level. Even Perfect Cell had a decently tough time with SSJ Goku and the latter couldn’t deal any damage to Broly whatsoever. The combined might of Piccolo and the other Saiyans couldn’t deal any damage either. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a villain overwhelm the heroes so badly apart from this film and it was pretty exciting. I still wouldn’t say that he could beat SSJ2 Gohan, but his LSSJ form is very impressive and it’s basically a variation of the Super Saiyan 2 transformation. His regular SSJ form isn’t impressive though as Goku was easily humiliating him in his base form. That’s a pretty big jump in power eh?
I was also glad to see Broly casually break a planet with a little energy blast. That’s the kind of power that I believe DBZ characters to possess even if they don’t show it. That being said, the planet that the heroes were fighting on should have been destroyed when Broly’s energy started to consume him. Just powering up and dropping those energy bombs should have scattered the planet in a million pieces. It’s cool to see things get blown up everywhere, but the planet should have gone with it. Naturally, this didn’t happen due to plot reasons, but it’s scenes like this that encourage Superman fans in their never ending debate against Goku. For the record, I’ve always thought that Frieza could solo the Comic Universes, but you can probably google my debates on that. Ignoring that part, I thought that the film did a pretty good job with the power levels. It was fun to watch and I wasn’t wincing too much. If I had to mention one thing that they could have changed…it would have been for Goku to have actually gotten some good damage in on Broly.
We can’t forget about the ending! I barely even count it and I luckily ended up purchasing a version of the film that cuts out the final punch. It’s gotta be intentional since it’s just way too convenient to end there. The final punch makes no sense since a weakened Vegeta adding a little strength to Goku should have just resulted in another broken fist. Goku was way too weakened to take Broly down and the ending probably ranks in the top 3 most inaccurate endings of all time. It’s seriously that bad and it’s a classic example of how you should not end a film. The writers just dug themselves in too deep by making Broly so strong.
The soundtrack is something that I’m pretty mixed on. I love the beat and rhythm of the tunes so don’t get me wrong on that front. They’re easily Attack on Titan level and it makes the whole film feel very theatrical and epic. An example of this is the opening where Trunks heads inside the ship after Vegeta. This would be an ordinary moment without the soundtrack, but it’s more like a heartfelt goodbye from Trunks and the heroes know that they may never see him again. The music really conveys a whole lot of emotion with it and it’ll make you start tearing up a little. The downside is that the lyrics aren’t always great and it almost sounds like they’re rapping at one point. So, I Love the themes and they’re awesome, but the lyrics wreck it. Try to find an instrumental version of the songs and you’ll see what I mean. So, for better or worse, it makes the film feel a lot bigger in scope, but it’s probably not a worthy tradeoff.
Krillin and Master Roshi’s sideplot is pretty awful though and it has no purpose in this film. The writers probably just wanted to add in Roshi somehow and this was the only way that they could think of. It beats Roshi’s plot in other DBZ films, but it’s still pretty bad and I wish that it hadn’t been there. It wrecks the tension and epicness that the scenes had.
Overall, Broly The Legendary Super Saiyan makes for a great film. It is easily one of the all time best in cinema and the action scenes are intense! Vegeta’s portrayal was very poor though and it is certainly a downer in this excellent movie. The slave subplot was also rather unnecessary and it just makes Vegeta look even worse. The soundtrack has a cinematic feel to it, but some of the songs are not very good. Again, this may not be a problem depending on which version you watch. There are some intense moments during the fight, like Broly hitting Goku so hard that glass breaks for a few miles, but nothing very violent. The worst moment is probably a baby getting stabbed in a flashback, which was admittedly pretty brutal, but it’s over very quickly and then you can just enjoy the popcorn fun. The previous scene that I mentioned isn’t as bad as it sounds since it’s in silhouette form for the most part, but you can have a hand on the remote while keeping your eyes peeled if you wish. I highly recommend this film and it definitely captures the essence of DBZ! You won’t be disappointed and maybe Broly will become your favorite DBZ villain as well.