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Review: ‘Dragon Ball Super: Broly’ sticks to familiarly drawn action

Review: ‘Dragon Ball Super: Broly’ sticks to familiarly drawn action
A scene from the movie "Dragon Ball Super: Broly." (Funimation Films)

Written by series creator Akira Toriyama, “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” broke box office records for the franchise when it opened in Japan in 2018. The new feature is based on the eighth “Dragon Ball” movie, “The Legendary Super Saiyan” (1993).

When the planet Vegeta was destroyed, only a few of the Saiyans who inhabited it escaped. Goku, the hero of the “Dragon Ball” universe, and his frenemy Prince Vegeta (Christopher R. Sabat) came to Earth; Broly survived on the desolate planet Vampa with his father, Paragus. Seeking revenge for the times that Goku defeated him, the evil alien Frieza sends Broly to attack Earth.

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A titanic, protracted battle in Antarctica pits Broly against Goku and Vegeta: The characters scream, punch, kick and fire blasts of energy that shatter glaciers, level mountains and trigger volcanic eruptions. Broly doesn’t know how to control his staggering powers, which only makes him more dangerous. It’s hardly a spoiler to say nothing can withstand the combined might of Goku and Vegeta. Frieza departs, vowing revenge yet again, but the good-hearted Goku looks after Broly so they can train together and grow even stronger.

Director Tatsuya Nagamine uses CGI to pump up the explosions and other special effects in the battle scenes, but wisely preserves the familiar, drawn look of the characters. “Broly” delivers exactly what “Dragon Ball” fans want from a feature; newcomers may find themselves lost in places.

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‘Dragon Ball Super: Broly’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Playing: Starts Jan. 16 in general release

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