*I saw the English Dubbed version of the movie.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly is a bit of something new for the Dragon Ball franchise. Oh, sure there have been retcons prior, but this movie lays an entirely new foundation of the events that sparked Dragon Ball Z, to begin with. That, and of course giving the canon debut of the franchise's most popular movie villain Broly (though he's not COOLER, I digress if the Legendary movie warrior succeeds perhaps we might just get that which would be worth it).
With said new elements we get basically a more Superman-esque origin for Goku (Sean Schemmel), Vegeta (Christopher Sabat) and Frieza (Christopher Ayres) get some new layers to their early days as well. All to add some nice motivation on Broly (Vic Mignogna) and Paragus (Dameon Clarke churning out a "semi-perfect" role) who serve as the antagonists for the movie. But I use the term loosely on that, since unlike the prior non-canon this one gives Broly better motivation and reasons for being who is, and cements the character in Dragon Ball lore.
Not that I have to process this is all, this has some fantastically animated spots here. There is some neat 2D animation to behold here and some of the fighting choreography behind it is freaking gorgeous. This just improves on animation quality of prior films and just continues to test new waters.
The CGI animation especially is impressive here. Even though you could tell what was CGI and what was 2D. It didn't stick out fully like a sore thumb and looked really good when "fused" together. It just looked so damn crisp and at times so damn awing. But then again, perhaps this is what happens when one watches a ton of old Dragon Ball Z movies (to prep for this one) and the prior Super movie, Ressurection F.
If anything I can say that is a criticism, is that well, anyone new to the series will be scratching their head, going, "Whaaaat?" I mean they might get the basics, but will still have so many questions to have. A beginners Dragon Ball movie this is not.
This movie feels like a reward. A reward to fans of the series who've seen everything this series has to offer. Heck, I'm beginning to see aspects of Dragon Ball Z Abridged bleeding into this franchise with actions by certain characters. That's not a bad thing at all (given I really have begun to like that variation of the franchise). I almost welcome that, and kind of hope the people behind that do exactly that.
Cause the more the merrier. If anything, I'm really nitpicky more it doesn't move anything character-wise other than Goku/Vegeta learning something new (save their past). I mean really the only character who feels like their growing from where they were from point A to B is Frieza.
Beerus (Jason Douglas) and Whis (Ian Sinclair) the other two established beings in Dragon Ball Super franchise, don't really add much to this movie (nor do we get anything juicy still of the Saiyans in this film learning the true reasons on why Frieza destroyed Planet Vegeta). You get tiny glimmers, but nothing truly concrete. Perhaps if this is adapted into the series we'll get some answers.
Speaking of lacking, the other bit involves Bardock in the beginning. There feels like a scene is missing from one cut to another because one moment Bardock is in full armor and the next minute he has all sorts of battle damage on his person with no reason why that damage is there. Is that to homage that some parts of the old Bardock: the Father of Goku special back into canon? It just feels like something was cut, and dammit I want answers!
I digress though they don't fully hamper the film down, just make you question slightly. The new characters besides Broly and Paragus introduced in the film of the Frieza Force are fascinating editions. One because again, much like Resurrection F showed how drained Frieza's galactical empire has become due to his many encounters with Goku and his group. Though we get two retconned minions who've been there since the beginning and one of them is absolutely fascinating.
One feels like a Lady Macbeth in a way with Berryblue (Veronica Taylor). There's something very uneasy about this character. Somehow even more unsettling than Frieza himself, because at this point you can almost know the in's and out of this character. The fact that this member has survived for a long time with Frieza and his father King Cold suggests she really knows how to play the game of being minion to them both. There are a few scenes where I was actually more terrified of her than Frieza, even when he just went genocidal because there seem to be way more things going on in her mind than a normal loyal Frieza minion and I love it!
The other new minions Cheelai (Erica Lindbeck) and Lemo (Bruce Carey) two warriors who are so not Zarbon or Captain Ginyu of Frieza Force past but add a new layer to these grunts. The movie does a great job on establishing both's motives and how much the Frieza Force is changing slightly than what we've seen in the past. Likewise, they're both fun characters and add some nuisances to "the antagonists". The thing is though, Cheelai feels rather "fanservice" in a few scenes, and while she has that fiery temper to go match to match. She doesn't have that fire new female characters Caulifla and Kale got. She feels Bulma-esque in that regard. Even slight negative she's the driving force in the final act of the film.
Besides ironing out these new characters it fleshes out characters in the past who haven't gotten their due before. In the previous offerings there never really was good motivations for King Vegeta (Sabat) to do what he did to Broly and his father. Here we get a WAAAAAAAAY better reasons on why the King did what he did. Likewise, his alliances with King Cold and Frieza. The same for Bardock as well, as we kind of actually see the science side to the character at last (something that was kind of missing in the original special) and the life of a Saiyans at the prime of their culture. These were really neat aspects (along with the little Easter Eggs spread throughout this flashback).
As for the main star of the movie: Broly. Damn this a grand reinterpretation of the character. There's some great depth finally added to the character, and a pawn between Paragus then Frieza. The new depths are given to the character, and well the dimensions to him. He's not this one-dimensional hulk here. He's so darn three dimensional and not a heel like saying Frieza or his past self. This was such a damn surprise to me. Just that he's not PERFECT (but hey perfection does show up for three seconds), but damn is he likable.
There is the real star of this film, Akira Toriyama, the creator of the franchise. He is the reason for all of this. There's so much good here added to the franchise now, and damn I want more now. The fact that we're almost forty years into this franchise and it still feels so damn fresh.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly has a lot to process for fans. It just delivers so much stuff for fans it's just glorious. Oh yes, there are some flaws, but they are very minor ones. The movie just adds so much the pathos to all things Dragon Ball. If you're a fan of Dragon Ball. Go see this film on a big screen. You won't regret it. Cause damn is it amazing to be a Dragon Ball fan.
4 out of 5