Spoiler alert! I will be talking about major plot and character moments in the new Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie. If you want to go in as blind as possible, maybe don’t read this.
Or do if you don’t care. That’s on you.
Yesterday, in my full review of the film, I talked about why I loved it in a critical sense. Today, I’m going to discuss why I loved it as a Dragon Ball fan. Simply put: I’m going to be gushing about as much stuff as I can that either made me laugh or cheer. This is entirely the fan boy in me geeking the fuck out.
With that in mind, let’s start with my favorite thing in the whole film: Freeza.
My favorite villain in all of Dragon Ball is represented both perfectly and hilariously in this movie. From his petty and ultimately pointless intended use of the Dragon Balls to his bratty response to having been defeated, just about everything he does is absolutely incredible.
Two of his scenes are my favorites in the film. The first being the past sequence, when he introduces the Scouters to the Saiyans. He straps it on, activates, and would you look at that, there are men with guns trained on him! He then proceeds to completely butcher them and move on, as if it were nothing. It’s cold, brutal, and very Freeza.
Then we get to my absolute favorite scene. After Goku and Vegeta push Broly to his limit, and long after he discovers he can’t go Super Saiyan, Freeza has an idea. He turns to Paragus and, without so much as a word, shoots him straight through the heart. He then turns around and yells “OH WOE IS ME!! BROLY! YOU’RE FATHER WAS KILLED BY A STRAY ENERGY BLAST!!”
I don’t think Freeza has ever been more viscious or hilarious. He is, by a very long margin, my favorite part of the movie.
And then there’s my second favorite part: Broly, Chillie and Lemo.
I never expected to be so fond of these three. Upon first glance, Chillie and Lemo seem like throw away characters. You’d think that, after they brought Broly and Paragus to Freeza, they’d no longer be any part of the story. But they turn out to be some of the best characters in the series.
The friendship between those two and Broly is incredible. Watching Broly grow attached to these two as they treat him with kindness is adorable, and watching Chillie and Lemo warm up to this gentle giant is equally cute. The movie spends just enough time to get you emotionally attached to them and even hope that they live to see another day.
Having them form their own special faction instead of straight up joining with Goku or Freeza is also a really nice touch. Sure, they have a shakey alliance with Goku, but it’s clear that they stand on their own. I really hope this is further explored in the future. Partially because it’d be really interesting.
But mostly because I want more Broly.
Then we get to the part most fans were looking forward to: Gogeta. Good god, did they not disappoint! He was just as awesome as we’d always hoped, both in design and personality, and his battle with Broly is one of the new best fights in the whole series!
On top of that, he gives us something we’ve never had before. Up to this point, a Fusion character would always split before the fight is over. The only exception was Gogeta in Fusion Reborn, but his fight was so short and unsatisfying that it doesn’t even count as a fight. Here though? Gogeta makes it all the way to the end of the battle.
Broly’s reaction to Gogeta’s extreme power is also perfect. When he starts losing ground, he begins to fight more desperately then ever before. As his opponent charges the biggest Kamehameha we’ve seen in the film, a clear terror fills Broly’s eyes. He realizes that he’s about to die, and it’s only thanks to the efforts of Chillie and Lemo that he isn’t completely vaporized. And the shocked realization and relief he has once he’s returned to his home by Shenron is a great relief.
Which may be my favorite part of the film, in terms of storytelling. We’ve taken the time to get to know, connect with, and like Broly as a person. Because of this, the film is very tense from the beginning to the end of the fight. You’re not worried if Goku and Vegeta will save the day because you already know they will. It’s tense because you don’t know whether or not Broly is going to make it out of this alive. Through the whole fight, you’ve got your fingers crossed that somehow, someway, the heroes will save Broly rather than destroy him.
You see that? That’s good writing.
The ending also makes me scream in delight! Shortly after Chillie and Lemo reunite with Broly, Goku appears before them. He strikes a simple deal: he’ll provide them with resources so long as they let him spar with Broly. Then, as Goku moves to go, he utters the last line of the film. It’s cheesy, but it’s incredibly satisfying.
“I’m Goku! But Broly… Call me Kakarot!”
Everyone in the audience fucking erupted in applause after that line and when the credits started. And I was right there with them.
In case it’s not obvious, I fucking love this movie. Both as a film and a Dragon Ball product, this does everything it intends to do almost perfectly! If you haven’t seen it and you call yourself a Dragon Ball fan, then you need to fix that. Be it by buying the Blu-Ray when it comes out or going to see it in your local theater, go out and support this movie.
Then, hopefully, we can get more Broly!