This is part 2 of my Dragon Ball SUper Broly Review, in part 1 I looked at the story and the presentation, if you want to read about those aspects CLICK HERE. Now we move on to the main driving force of the story, the characters and the star of the show Broly himself.
The Characters (CONTAINS SP !)
- Goku: Goku is not the main character of this movie, not at all. Why is that? Because this isn’t his story, he’s more of an obstacle for Broly to overcome as opposed to the other way around. He does help with Broly’s arc, trying to talk him out of his rage and often fighting defensively unless pushed. My favourite part of Goku in this movie however, is his ending line. I’ve already spoiled a fair amount of this movie over the course of these two review parts, but I wont spoil his ending line since it has to be heard to be believed. But long story short, it’s a great character moment for Goku and really shows shades of development for him.
- Vegeta: Vegeta is great in this movie. He has some fabulous fights, some fabulous moments and some absolutely priceless comedy. He is the main source of comedy in this movie, as he constantly berates Goku for his lax nature and refuses to perform the Fusion Dance out of embarrassment. Seeing him as a Super Saiyan God is also a satisfying moment since it’s the first time we’ve seen him do it out of the manga. He doesn’t factor much into the plot other than being an opponent for Broly , but he is great in this movie, funny, cool and powerful all at the same time. It’s great to see Vegeta develop further.
- Paragus: I am so divided with Paragus. On one hand I feel sorry for him, on the other I hate him so much! But I think that’s what makes him such a good character. At the start of the movie he’s a character that you really feel sorry for after seeing him barely surviving with Broly on their planet, but once he enters the Frieza Force, he becomes a downright sinister character whose torment of Broly really makes you feel for his son and despise Paragus himself. His design is great, keeping the spirit of the original while being its own thing. Also his death scene (I did warn spoilers) is perhaps a little too quick, but I like to think of it as he’s such a bad person he doesn’t deserve a death as drawn out as others. Paragus was a great secondary antagonist and while his death has removed him from the series, his impact will be felt for a long time.
- Frieza: Frieza’s role in the franchise has very clearly shifted with this movie. He’s no longer the main threat, he’s more of a catalyst for other threats as he brings Broly to Earth and brings about his Super Saiyan transformation. He’s much more self-aware as well, no longer obsessed with immortality or invincibility, instead he focuses on the little things and while this comes off as petty, I think it’s a natural progression for him. He’s also surprisingly funny in this movie, something that shouldn’t work but actually it does. He doesn’t do much in the way of fighting in this movie but his fight with Broly was hilarious simply because of how sudden it was and how it pushed Frieza to his absolute limit. Frieza was welcomed in this movie and I like the new direction they’re going.
- Other characters: I’m including Gogeta in this section since, aside from a few quips here and there, he’s not exactly a character with depth worth analysing. He’s a platform for some spectacular fights and unique visuals. Bulma is hilarious and her wish on the Dragon Balls is also so in character. Whis is a lot of fun, his little fight with Broly was short but funny. Lemo is also a great little character, he’s old and wise, often helping serve as Cheelais moral compass while she acts as Broly’s. He has a great dynamic with the two of them and is a really pleasant character. Seeing Bardock again was fabulous, and as someone who loves the Bardock Father of Goku special, I still like this new version. He’s not as hardcore and violent as his previous canon incarnation, but he’s still a battle hardened warrior and I do like seeing his softer side as it adds shades to him we previously didn’t have. All other characters are negligible but I’ll still mention their names since they all helped add to the world building of this movie. King Cold, King Vegeta, Beets and the Frieza henchmen whose names escape me.
Here he is, the main pull of this movie, and he does not disappoint. He kind of reminds me of Thanos, while he’s the main threat, he’s also technically the main character, at least to me. Broly is a character you immediately fall in love with, I never thought I would be calling Broly ‘Best Boy’ but here we are I guess. Broly’s arc tells a very sad story, the tale of an abuse victim who was raised to cater to the needs of his father, and this is conveyed perfectly through Broly’s characteristics. He’s dignified and well-mannered yet animatistic and feral to a point. Despite the contempt and fear he harbors for his father he respects him and doesn’t like it when people speak against his dad. Broly feels more like an obstacle as opposed to a major enemy, but unlike someone like Jiren, who counts as an obstacle because he has no personality to be considered an enemy, Broly is seen as an obstacle because he’s too likeable and frankly kind-hearted to be an enemy. His fury and presence as a villain is made possible by the advent of Paragus, and when Paragus dies and Broly begins to live his own life and by that point, he’s departed from being an antagonist all together. Broly’s relationship with many of the main cast is a treat to watch, what I do like is that he has little to no relationship with Goku or Vegeta, in fact he doesn’t even speak to Vegeta and doesn’t do so with Goku until the end of the film. This is not Goku’s movie, this is Broly’s. He’s the main character and he’s the one we’re meant to follow. One of my favourite relationships he has with the characters is with his father Paragus. He has undying respect for his father yet he fears him so much that it has traumatized him. There’s one scene where Paragus reveals he uses a shock collar to keep Broly under control and the look of terror on Broly’s face is horrifying to watch yet it leaves you completely engaged. His relationship with Cheelai is also adorable, I see her as this older sister type character that teaches him how to be polite and teach him about the world. Also, his Super Saiyan transformation scene is one that actually left me feeling scared. The music, the glorious animation, the screams, the sheer level of energy exerted from Broly, it all came together in a way that left me shaking. I would go on, but frankly we’d be here too long, so I’ll summarise. Broly in this movie is a character that is engaging, likeable, and someone you want to see succeed. He is a great addition to the Dragon Ball canon and will hopefully be a mainstay for years to come.
Quick note on Cheelai: Cheelai is my second favourite character in this movie behind Broly. She’s a great second fiddle to Broly and a great first fiddle (if that’s a term) to Lemo. She’s funny, independent and her affection towards Broly is just adorable. No I don’t ship them like so many others do, as I said before I see her as a big sister type of character, someone who helps Broly understand the world better. Some of the movies best scenes are between her and Broly and her teaching him manners and about the world. So to keep it brief, Cheelai was another great addition to the franchise and I hope to see more of her and Broly in the future.
I mentioned back in part 1 that no score was going to be below a 4/5. But you know what, to kick off my 2019 movie reviews I’m not only changing the score system from 5 to 10 I’m also adding an ‘Enjoyability’ score as well.
- Story: 8/10 – The story isn’t the most unique or complex, but I think the fact that it is so bare bones works in its favour. This plot is more of a conduit for the separate character arcs which are all spectacular. This is the lowest grade for the review, and considering that’s an 8 this is a great sign for this movie.
- Characters: 10/10 – The characters in this movie are all spectacular. Goku and Vegeta have a great dynamic, Frieza is both imposing and funny, Paragus is a great second villain and Broly is…well. I’ve already said how fabulous he and Cheelai are, continuing to talk about him would stretch this into a 3 part review and god forbid that happen.
- Presentation: 9/10 – Yes there are some akward frames, yes there is CGI for some fight scene, but focusing on those would be petty. This animation is so loose and free flowing that it is just a feast for the eyes. The fights are great and the expressions and character movements help bring out their personalities perfectly. This movie is a great change of style for the franchise and I hope that when Dragon Ball Super returns we keep this amazing animation style.
- Enjoyability: 10/10 – As the first movie to use the ‘Enjoyability’ grade, this is a great movie to start with. This movie is enjoyable from start to finish, from the characters, their personalities and the fights. It’s a movie that leaves you smiling from start to finish. It’ll leave you laughing, cheering and even crying in some places, but all the while you will have a blast watching it.
- (Unique Grade) Fight Choreography: 10/10 – Bombastic speed, great camera angles, creative moves and oodles of powerful strikes, these fights are some of the best in the franchise. Each punch has weight to it and some of the impacts and attacks leave you wincing at justhow painful they look. The fights are fast paced yet rarely become too fast to watch. Easily the highlight of the movie in terms of visuals.
Final Grade: 9/10
This was probably one of my most biased reviews to date, but you know what I don’t care. This movie is simply a spectacle, and even if you know the plot, you need to see it to truly appreciate this movie. I cannot understate this film, if anything I can only oversell it but frankly it deserves it. This film does have flaws, every film does, there are a few akward frames and the plot isn’t that complex. But even with these flaws, they seem like nitpicks when you look at the sheer level of high quality from the rest of the movie. Visually it’s near erfect, the characters and their personalities are represented wonderfully and the new additions to the cast are all wonderfully charming, likeable and engaging. Broly is the star of the movie and I hope, no PRAY, that we see more of him in the future. This movie will be a mainstay of the franchise for years to come and is a must see for Dragon Ball fans from any era.
Thank you for reading I hope you enjoyed it, if you did please consider leaving a like and following my blog for updates on future posts. Also follow me on twitter @joe_reviews for further updates and general nonsense. Till next time.