a.k.a.Dragonball Z: Moetsukiro! Atsusen, Retsusen, Chou Gekisen
A moment of peace affords Son Goku and Chi Chi an opportunity to interview for Son Gohan’s next school. Peacetime never lasts very long for the Z Senshi as a spaceship descends on Earth. Out emerges a man named Paragus who beckons Vegeta, the prince of all Saiya-jins, to travel with him to planet New Vegeta and vanquish the Legendary Super Saiya-jin. Son Goku and the other Z Senshi soon follow… but something seems amiss. The whole situation smells of a trap, but will our merry band of merry fighters find out in time?
summary by Kain
Highs: More of the same… with better visuals
Lows: More of the same…
/me chuckles politely.
I should have known better. For some strange reason, I thought this movie would be different. I mean, everything started off well enough. Here exists perhaps the most complicated and intriguing antagonist in the entire Dragonball Z universe (not like that really means anything): Broli. He’s a tormented soul, and the way his life unfolded made me almost sympathize with him in a way. No doubt he would snap mentally, but I had faith that he would “see the light” as all good bad guys do and reflect rationally on his actions…
And then we have this. Not one to break away from tradition, Dragonball Z Movie VIII caters to the lowest common denominator: our heroes get beat down to the brink of death (in that way over-the-top manner that made the series infamous), summon hidden inner strength from deep within (funny how this “reserve” never makes itself available at the beginning of the fight. Oh wait, that would take all the drama out of it) and finally vanquish the evil philistine with a cascade of seizure-inducing lights. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
All is not lost, however. The animators finally learned that reused cels make for really bad animation, and thus the eye candy was given the premium treatment. Credit must be given to the story which at least tries to make Broli more than the standard “rule the universe” villains of yore. It’s a start.