Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie review

Akira Toriyama has been working on the Dragon Ball series for quite a long time. As the creator, you’d think he would have his hands on everything that’s related to Dragon Ball. However, that’s not the case. If you didn’t know already, all the past Dragon Ball movies before Battle of the Gods are not considered canon, which included the entire series of Dragon Ball GT. This puts a damper on one particular set of movies which fans loved at the time: Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan. Fast forward to 2019, and Akira Toriyama is riding the popularity waves of Dragon Ball Super. In fact, it became so popular that Toriyama recreated the original Broly movie by redesigning him and making him canon. If you’ve seen the original Broly movie, it was pretty intense at the time as it was supposed to introduce the real legendary Saiyan that all Saiyans spoke tales about amongst their people.


This new re-telling of the story of Broly is an interesting one as it has parallels to the original movie, but with a more direct tone. The movie starts with a trip through time as you see the original powerful members of the Frieza force such as young Nappa, Zarbon, The Ginyu Force, and Dodoria. These characters haven’t been seen since the Saiyan Saga from Dragon Ball Z which is actually pretty awesome since they’ve been updated with the latest animation techniques – much like the rest of the Dragon Ball cast when Super returned to television.

The trip through time isn’t just a quick crap shoot. Not only do you see Frieza as a young emperor, you actually see the planet Vegeta and the entire race of Saiyans and how they lived their lives. The best part about this is how it also shows Goku’s familial ties with his father Bardock and mother Gine. The down-to-earth family vibes you get from Goku’s family, sans Raditz, is a complete contrast to Vegeta’s family. His father, King Vegeta, who’s a bit more tyrannical, actually has a good amount of screentime, and you see a glimpse of how he hated being under Frieza’s rule. Honorable mention of Vegeta’s brother, Tarble, is actually acknowledged in this flashback. It fills in a lot of blurry areas from Goku’s and Vegeta’s past, which is a real treat to all of us hardcore Dragon Ball fans.

Main Plot

The parallels with this movie versus the original Broly movie is actually better in this version retold. Broly is a special Saiyan child with tremendous power and is exiled to another planet with his father, Paragus, in tow. Paragus as Broly’s father shows how evil and selfish Saiyans can be. He basically only looks as Broly, his own son, as an instrument of his vengeance against King Vegeta, who is responsible for their exile.

The movie does a fairly good job of you empathizing with Paragus’ goals despite how wrong they are. In the end, it’s a father wanting to protect his son but is so far blinded by his hatred that he creates a monster of Broly, who is already an ultimate force of a Saiyan that we see later on in the movie.

Paragus and Broly are soon rescued from their solitary planet many years later. Of course, they are unaware Frieza, whom they are heading directly to, destroyed their homeworld many years ago. As evil as Frieza is, this movie shows how much he’s grown as a character from his original iteration. He actually makes jokes and wants to wish to become taller, which is something completely odd since the original Frieza didn’t care much about his height and only wanted to flex his power throughout the universe. So this was a welcome change, however, don’t expect much else from Frieza as he’s still an insane mass murderer.

Eventually, Broly and Paragus finally encounter Goku and Vegeta back on Earth after being conscripted into the Frieza force. The ensuing fight between Broly versus Vegeta and Goku is exciting and nonstop for the rest of the movie. They show how deadly both Vegeta and Goku have become after fighting in the Tournament of Power in the Dragon Ball Super series. In fact, it shows that Vegeta has finally mastered Super Saiyan God mode and takes on Broly with full might. Broly is coined as the Legendary Super Saiyan for a reason, and not only does Vegeta have to bounce out, he takes on both Vegeta’s and Goku’s Super Saiyan Blue as well (normally it’s called Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan, but that’s too long to say. We’ll just stick with Super Saiyan Blue here).

This is where this movie also introduces another originally non-canon character: Gogeta. This is the fusion version of Goku and Vegeta, but not with the potara earrings, no. Believe it or not, Vegeta learns the fusion dance and actually meshes with Goku after several tries. This is another awesome point about Vegeta’s character growth. The main ringer for Vegeta to learn the dance was to save his family. Long gone is the original Vegeta of not caring about anything but himself. Vegeta, the father, the husband, the fighter, actually doing things out of necessity for the greater good. Because of this, Gogeta goes several rounds with Broly with both characters going at it back and forth.

The fight scenes between these three Saiyans is absolutely nuts. The angles of the shots and the constant stream of energy flying back and forth between the fighters as they recover and counter-attack each other is gorgeous. There’s an actual scene where it turns to first-person view in Broly’s eyes, and it gives it a completely unique look on how fighting Goku would feel like. Let’s just say it’s pretty brilliant and intense, to say the least.

Final Reaction

All in all, this movie was quite enjoyable and I loved it from beginning to end. I actually watched it twice just to make sure I didn’t miss things. The only qualms I have were the voice acting and some minor weak character points conveyed in the story. Even though I was raised on the English dubbed of DBZ, I still normally watch anime in their Japanese formats. Sometimes English can’t convey the emotions that are being expressed in Japanese. That said, I’m not taking anything away from Sean Schemmel or Christopher Sabat – they’re still both great English dub voice actors.

The original Broly back in the ’90s was a force to be reckoned with and the DBZ fighters at that time were completely afraid of Broly and couldn’t do much damage to him initially. In this retelling, I enjoyed that Vegeta wasn’t a scared coward nor was Goku a punching bag the entire time. Broly came with the heat and both Vegeta and Goku pushed him and themselves to the limit.

Score: 4/5 Atoms

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