Michael's Movie Grade: B
A fun addition to the Dragon Ball franchise.
What makes this movie work so well is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. It instead has no pretentions of being anything more than a really fun anime action film. This may turn off die hard fans, who want a groundbreaking addition to the franchise, but for those who just want a fun movie, this works very well. This movie keeps the franchise's sense of humor perfectly, and I was surprised at how much I laughed watching the film. The characters are as likable as ever. This film is not afraid to show the character's sillier sides, but it never had the characters become jokes. The characters feel like completely real people and despite their faults they also come off as true heroes. The movie will remind those who grew up with the anime, just why these characters were such a major part of their childhoods. Though the plot is hardly original, it moves at a fast pace and it is never dull for a second. Yet the story also doesn't feel too rushed. The stakes also feel really big in this picture, giving it a bit of an epic feel, especially towards the final fight scene. Speaking of the final fight scene, it is fantastic and will easily make many forgive any of its faults.
While the story is a lot of fun, it is also very predictable. There was little done here that has not been done before (sometimes even by the same franchise). Because of this, you always know what is going to happen next and where each plot point is going to lead. This installment is completely done in CGI instead of 2D animation. The result is mixed. Some scenes look fantastic and make you forget this and feel like you are watching an episode of Dragon Ball or Dragon Ball Z. This is definitely true of many of the fight scenes which simply look wonderful. On the other hand, a lot of the scenes look more like cut scenes in a Dragon Ball video game rather than something that would be in a theatrically released feature film. Some of the early scenes with the villains look especially bad and took me out of the movie when I saw them.
This may not be a game changer for the franchise but it is a very fun animated action flick.