The new Dragon Ball Z film has been getting a lot of hype so far and with good reason. It brings back the ultimate Saiyan known as Broly and re-imagines his character under the Super banner. As the first two movies came out before Super was even a thing, this is effectively the first film in the series. It’s certainly an excellent starting point as this makes my top 3 films for the franchise. It pretty much does nothing wrong.
The film starts off with a long flashback showing how Broly escaped Planet Vegeta along with Goku, Raditz, Nappa, Vegeta, Paragus, Beets, and other Saiyans. With how these saiyans lived it is feasible that more could pop up at some point which would be hype. Of course you ultimately know how this part of the film is going to end. Frieza wipes everyone out and then we cut back to the present. Pargaus and Broly have survived on their desolate planet for decades until two of Frieza’s bounty hunters show up and recruit them to the cause. Frieza may not like Saiyans but even he will admit that they are useful in combat. He decides to use Broly to finally destroy Goku and Vegeta, but can this Saiyan accomplish such a feat?
Naturally the film excels because of the present era scenes. The flashback part is fun and all, but the whole time you’re just waiting for the big fights. Still, I’ll quickly get this part out of the way. There’s been a lot of talk about how different Bardock is here compared to his original version. That one still has more personality and heart but this heroic one works well enough I suppose. He’s just not going to be the Bardock that you’re used to. King Vegeta is the same as always, he’s as scared and fearful as ever.
In the flashbacks, Paragus is actually the best character. He really wants to save Broly and does a good job of rebelling away from the Saiyans and getting to him. It’s a shame that he ultimately goes kind of crazy and starts resorting to shock treatment. That’s the point where you definitely can’t root for him anymore. He’s simply too far gone by that point. Still, he was cool while he lasted I suppose. There’s not much more to say about the intro. It’s handled as well as a flashback can be.
The film really starts once Goku and Vegeta arrive at the ice continent. Of course Broly is there with the gang and he quickly starts the fight with Vegeta. Here’s where the power levels start coming into play. It’s a good thing that the scanner broke since it seemed to be stopping at a power level under 100,000 for Broly’s base mode which would make absolutely no sense. Considering that his base mode seemed to be above Super Saiyan God level, it would be in the billions/trillions. Throwing out the scouters is always a really good idea if we’re being honest.
So, Broly is so strong that in base form he’s fighting Super Saiyan Blue. You can see how crazy this is. You almost feel like by the time he goes Super Saiyan he should be way above the others. It’s hard to say, but his Super Saiyan does still seem to be different from the normal levels like in the original films. With the way it taps into his primal form it acts like Super Saiyan 4. It’s hard to say what the multiplier on it is, but to be safe we can say it’s a 50X boost like with SSJ1. It makes perfect sense that Goku and Vegeta even while teaming up can’t handle that. It would have made no sense if they could so I’m glad they were getting steamrolled. Throwing in fusion is always a good way to remedy this since it multiplies your abilities which still makes it the strongest option.
As of this movie, it’s fair to say that the power levels play out like this. 1. Vegito/Gogeta 2. Final Form Broly 3. Mastered Ultra Instinct Goku 4. Jiren 5. Broly 6. Kefla 7. Vegeta Super Saiyan Blue Beyond 7. Goku Kaio Ken Blue 8. Toppo, then from there it gets tricky. I think it’s fair to put Beerus somewhere to close out the top 10 I guess. If not, he at least cracks top 20. I’d say that the angels should be around 5-6 level. Still, it’s cool that not counting fusions Broly is the strongest being in the series. This isn’t counting spinoffs like Heroes where he does have some serious competition. I’m sure Broly will only get stronger here although based on the ending I don’t think we’d see Broly at this level again for quite some time.
His sheer durability with how many times he would just get up again was most impressive. The guy just wouldn’t stay down and showed a lot more determination than the other characters. In particular Vegeta didn’t really treat the fight with as much seriousness as you’d expect. He very quickly bowled out of the ring once he was knocked down. I like to think he would be fighting harder if the stakes were higher, but I suppose he doesn’t care quite as much since Beerus and Whis are still here so they could handle things if worse comes to worse.
While Vegeta was ultimately no match it was still nice of him to help Broly get into fighting shape to take on Goku. As always they show that Vegeta seems to be a little weaker in each of his forms in comparison to Goku. Goku just seems to know more hand to hand skills and even other energy abilities that Vegeta does not have a handle on. Since Goku has no Ultra Instinct anymore (At least he can’t activate it at will) I’d give Vegeta the overall edge since I’d consider Super Saiyan Blue 2 to be superior to the Kaio Ken since it has more stamina, but it is close. Vegeta will need a new form if Goku ever masters Ultra Instinct. Overall, Vegeta was pretty solid here. Still the second fiddle and all, but he puts up a reasonable fight.
Of course Goku also does pretty good here. While he’s definitely outmatched, Goku actually does start to hold his own once he enters Super Saiyan God mode. The rest of the forms are so much weaker than Broly’s base that there isn’t much point in using them for long. I also do like that he tries to enter Ultra Instinct even if it didn’t quite work. Had he tapped into that and ended the fight quickly he probably could have won. I think Super Saiyan Broly would be too much for him, but the base mode he could handle. Goku did a good job in realizing that something was up with Broly the whole time. Even if he was a little naive about Frieza, Goku definitely looked solid here.
While Broly stole the show, his two sidekicks were pretty reasonable as well. Cheelai and Lemo are these two characters. Lemo is an old pilot who’s seen his fair share of action. I don’t tend to be a fan of the old character whose only trait seems to be his age, but the guy was pretty reasonable here. Cheelai is also solid as she steals the zapper with ease and is supportive for Broly the whole time. He definitely managed to find two pretty good friends so I wouldn’t mind if they continue to show up. I do hope they don’t get taken hostage in a future film though, that would just be annoying.
Of course Frieza also gets a big role here. He didn’t plan to attack the heroes just yet, but Broly changes things. Still, since Frieza hasn’t trained yet he has still fallen behind the main heroes in power by a considerable amount. He’s honestly not a threat to them as he is now. Still, I don’t get why he didn’t jump in to try and finish the heroes while Broly was fighting. Taking on a weakened Vegeta would have made sense, especially since they had no senzu beans handy. It just seemed a bit odd that Frieza was watching the whole time. I almost feel like it would have been better for Frieza to never have made it to Earth and to just send Broly and Paragus there. It would have made a little more sense. Still, it was cool to see him get to fight Broly a bit so I’m glad that was included.
Of course the animation is top notch. It’s all very smooth and the fights operate at a high speed. I was certainly concerned when the first animated teaser came out for the film because it all looked very off, but the rest of the film looks a lot more traditional. Once the full trailers came out I knew it was going to be hype and the action delivers. It’s all very high end and you can tell that a lot of work was put into it. I’m still not sure about the CGI stuff, but as little clips here and there it’s not bad. I think it would be great if the video game attacks could all look like that. It’s a CGI style that I do like and I wouldn’t mind watching a whole film that way. The hand drawn parts are vastly superior but the CGI is pretty solid.
So there is one slight negative here. It’s not quite something that would hurt the score, but a little noticeable nonetheless. The soundtrack here is considerably weaker than the last few. Battle of Gods had the fun Flow song, Resurrection F had a ton of themes that were all amazing. This one….fell flat by the end. I liked the trailer themes, those were hype when they showed up. Mainly the one from the original trailer is very epic and fits the suspenseful tone. Then for the climax we get an odd rap type song which really doesn’t work.
The lyrics are painful as it’s just the main character names being repeated over and over again. It won’t take you out of the fight as it’s too well animated for that to happen but it doesn’t enhance the fight. A good musical theme should make a fight scene pop out even more or at least keep up the tempo. This one is almost Pokemon level (for some parts of the series) where you just want to mute the music so you can enjoy the fights more. It was really just this theme that fell flat, but since it played for the final fight you’ll remember it a lot more than you would like to.
Considering that this is the only negative you can already see how the film is in a good spot. The writing is on point and the film’s pacing is excellent. While we get some comedy it’s handled pretty well as opposed to the iffy Roshi/Oolong type of scenes. Frieza’s wish is probably stretching it quite a bit, but the sooner we all acknowledge Frieza as more of a comic relief type villain than a serious threat the more it’ll start to make sense. He just can’t hang with the big boys right now, he’ll need some kind of big power up to do that.
Overall, This is exactly what you want to see in a Dragon Ball film. Broly fighting the Saiyans is excellent and the fights are basically nonstop by the end. Keeping Whis and Beerus on the sidelines is always a good idea so they don’t get in the way of the real fighters. As always, it’s going to be very tough to top this one. If anyone can do it, DBZ can but it’ll still be a tough order. How do you top someone like Broly? Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long for the next film/TV series.