I was confused when I heard there was a new Dragon Ball Z movie releasing this year. Subtitled, Battle of the Gods, it takes place after the conclusion of the series. My biggest complaint about the anime was the pacing. All the movies have limited run times, making the story and ensuing fight streamlined. A new movie with slick animation was exciting. Ultimately, I was let down.
I get that Dragon Ball was originally a goofy series, but it never reached stratospheric levels of popularity until it became solely about fighting. Battle features many goofy elements along with some fighting, mixing the two a la Dragon Ball GT. Considering how the franchise’s stock plummeted after GT, I don’t understand why they would go back to that well. Birus, or Bills depending on some translations, chills at Bulma’s party because he likes food. When Buu won’t give him a pudding cup, he freaks out and tries to destroy the Earth. Really?
The animation was some of the worst I’ve seen in a while. The camera traveled occasionally, showing the flaws in the simple design. When the fight began, it was disorienting because it incorporated this technique. 3D models were used for a bit of the battle due to the panning camera. It looked like a video game. I think they used assets from the latest game to create this sequence. It looked horrible. The final insult was a montage using still images. This was a feature film released in theaters and they still cut corners.
Of course Goku needed some new power to defeat Birus. This time, it was Super Saiyan God. Featuring red hair and a more slender physic, this form has a limited time frame and requires five other Saiyans to hold hands. I’m not kidding. After Birus defeated Goku (SSG wasn’t strong enough), he dropped some major exposition, which has me assuming they’ll be more Dragon Ball in some form. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll care.
I waited a few days after watching the movie to write this review. There was nothing redeeming in the movie. I thought I was being overly negative. I loved DBZ as a teenager, but I’m not sure if it was because it was good, or the first time I’d seen something like that. I felt more confident in my opinion after a friend watched the movie and walked away just as disgusted.
Oh and Tien, why are you even trying? Dude just bitch slapped Buu and you couldn’t do crap to him. You haven’t been useful since Vegeta showed up, and even then, not so much. At least Yamcha and Krillin had enough sense to stay back. Those must have been some adamantium chop sticks. And Bulma, you’ve met about 23 people in your life, how do you not recognize Pilaf? Alright, I’ll stop now.
Battle of the Gods was a complete waste. Toei had the chance to make something special and they didn’t, instead going with what killed the franchise 20 years ago. I’m sure if you’re a DBZ fan, you’ll still check out the movie when it comes stateside, despite my review. At least you’ll only be wasting 80 minutes.
Were you as let down as I was? Wish they’d just leave it alone? Comment below!
Best part was the end credits.