"Dragon Ball Z Bio-Broly" In Which Toei Fires Their Human Writers in Favor of Monkeys
You know, with all the filler Toei has created over the years you figure they’d be good at it by now. Sure, sometimes the writers get lucky, but more often than not, they fail miserably. The 11th Dragonball Z movie, Bio-Broly, could’ve used a four-leaf clover or twelve.
It’s been a while since Broly was defeated by the Son family (Goku, Gohan, and Goten) in the last movie, but of course the Legendary Super Saiyan wouldn’t die for good. He’s a featured movie villain! Unfortunately, Goku’s still dead, Gohan and Vegeta are… busy… so the only ones who can stop Broly this time are Trunks, Goten, Krillin, and 18. And Hercule, who’s here to put off giving 18 the 20 million zeni he owes her for throwing the World Martial Arts Tournament Battle Royale in the series (the only way you can put this into anime continuity is if you pretend Buu and/or Babidi never existed).
Unfortunately, Broly’s just as strong as ever, and this time he’s covered in green goop. So not only do our heroes have to defeat an angry Super Saiyan with no shred of personality left, but they have to deal with a Swamp Thing reject as well!
There’s a reason fans call this the worst Dragon Ball Z movie ever. You’ve got a reused villain in a crappy get-up, Goten and Trunks being annoying as always, plus some really forgettable one-timer humans. You’d think that this movie might make a nice change of pace, since Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, and Piccolo are nowhere to be found (Goku appears in the last few minutes, and Vegeta and Gohan appear in the credits, but that’s it), but it seems nobody can write a good story without Goku somewhere in there. To make matters worse, the film’s ending is unbelievably anti-climactic, with the heros’ chosen takedown move sure to be an object of derision.
The actual designs aren’t even all that new. The mutated warriors here aren’t nearly as interesting as the bio-fighters in The World’s Strongest (now that was a DBZ movie!), the main villain is even more mindless than the last film, and the humans look like a bunch of random citizens out of the original Dragon Ball. The entire movie has a sci-fi B-movie feel to it, akin to a Frankenstein rip-off you’d see on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Maybe making two DBZ movies a year was too much on the Toei design crew. Heck, the only good points about this movie are some scenes with 18 and Hercule and the end credits with Gohan and Vegeta taking care of Baby Goten and Baby Trunks.
Animation is pretty much the same as any other DBZ movie, that is, only slighter better than the series. Heck, the actual animation isn’t even used as well as in Super Android 13 or even the first Broly flick.
The music is also more of the same. The soundtracks in both versions are not all that different from anything else heard in DBZ. The English version sounds like the previous movies (composed by Mark Menza) rather than the series (composed by Bruce Falconer), but you get my point. Voices are, again, pretty much the exact same as before. You either love one of the versions, or you don’t. No standout performances here. In fact, 18 even sounds a bit off, as if Meredith McCoy had been away from the role for so long she had trouble getting back into it. One thing that did irk me was that the dub had Jaguar and the shaman know Broly’s name as well as the fact that he was the Legendary Super Saiyan, when they should know nothing about all that stuff.
FUNi has finally realized that no one reads the character bios and nixed them. Unfortunately this leaves the disc without any special features. Dearly as I love Fullmetal Alchemist and Samurai 7 trailers, they’re not extras. We don’t even get the Japanese commercials with this. On top of that FUNi still includes un-skippable commercials, and there’s really no excuse for that.
This movie is for DBZ die-hards and completists only. If you want to get started on this series, I recommend Dead Zone, The World’s Strongest, or Super Android 13. Thankfully, this is the last of the crappy DBZ movies. I guess after this disaster Toei hired some writers.