If you were to ask anyone what the biggest and most famous anime ever is they’ll most likely say “Dragon Ball Z.” For almost thirty years Akira Toriyama’s most commercially successful manga has been loved, hated, parodied, rereleased and quoted so many times it has become impossible to file them all. One thing any “Dragon Ball Z” fan will tell you is that there hasn’t been a movie in 17 years with “The Path to Power” being the last one. Last year, Toei Animation finally released a new movie called “Battle of Gods” in Japanese theaters with North America getting a theatrical release on August 5th.
After 17 years of waiting, fans don’t get exactly what they wished for.
Taking place a few years after the “Kid Buu Saga” Goku gets word from Supreme Kai that “The God of Destruction” Beerus has finally awoken. Beerus comes to Earth to find out if the legend of a Super Saiyan God really exists and then destroy Earth. Goku must once again defend Earth from a super powerful being.
This is the plot to every “Dragon Ball Z” movie ever produced. That doesn’t mean that they’re all terrible. Some like the Cooler and Brolly movies are well worth watching. This, one on the other hand, leans towards the miss category.
Yes, Beerus does come to Earth, but he spends the majority of the movie asking about the Super Saiyan God and eating everything at Bulma’s birthday party. We do get a fight early in the movie, but it ends in less than two minutes. The next one doesn’t happen until the 44 minute mark. This one is sparked by Buu not allowing Beerus to taste one of the many puddings he’s eating. Yes, a god of destruction gets upset because somebody wouldn’t share a dessert.
Emperor Pilaf and his cronies make an appearance here for no reason other than a scene where Trunks pretends Mai is his girlfriend and Mai takes him hostage. Everyone at the party thinks this is some cute stunt because Mai looks like a little girl despite being in her forties. Gohan plays along by going into Great Saiyaman mode and Mai shoots him a few times. It’s a pretty pointless scene as is the Pilaf Gang in this movie.
The animation here is a mixture of 2D and 3D CGI. The 2D is everything fans remember from the show which is a plus. The 3D on the other hand looks really corny. It looks like this movie is taking place in an early 90’s PC game. Scenes that are meant to look awesome, like the final fight between Goku and Beerus, look underwhelming.
There are two bright spots, though. One is Vegeta throughout the movie. He knows what Beerus can do and tries everything to keep him calm. This causes some truly hilarious moments such as Vegeta singing. There’s even one scene where Vegeta loses it after Beerus slaps Bulma because she slapped him for ruining her party. This is shocking in that this is one of the rare moments where Vegeta shows any emotion towards his family.
The final battle is also a bright spot. It’s everything that “Dragon Ball Z” fans expect from the show: Lots of flashy moves and tons of planet destroying explosions. The ending is a bit anticlimactic. There doesn’t seem to be any fixed after that, but once you sit back and think about it the ending is a ballsy move by Toriyama and it comes out of nowhere so kudos to him.
“Battle of Gods” is not the movie “Dragon Ball Z” fans have waited a long time for. The majority of the movie is padding, there’s really only one big fight and the story is pretty weak. The only reason to see this movie is for Vegeta’s antics and because it’s a new “Dragon Ball Z” movie.