The evil Dr. Wheelo has resurrected his brain into a robot and now desires to inhabit the body of the world's strongest warrior. This means he must face Son Goku and company in a fight for Goku's life.
Like it's predecessor, I didn't have the highest of expectations going into World's Strongest, but I must admit they were a bit higher after being surprisingly happy with how solid The Dead Zone was. In the end, I feel whilst World's Strongest is an enjoyable, fun romp, it has more notable weaknesses then it's predecessors in the form of a weaker villain and plot, and the obvious issues that come with a non-canon film.
The film deals with the emergence of a mad scientist, now only a brain in a jar, and his attempts to take over the body of 'The World's Strongest'., and Goku and
co's attempts to defeat him. The plot isn't particularly interesting at all, and the set-up doesn't really make any sense when you really think about it (How did Wheelo put himself in a jar, and build the bio-weapons if he was trapped?) if I'm being honest. The only real appeal for this film are the fights are the general art direction. The design of his bio-weapons, at least the unique ones, are all right at best, having a couple of fun abilities across them. I'm aslo grateful for the fact that the villain actually backs up how dangerous they really are to the heroes - the power of the bio-weapons are potent, and seeing the results of Wheelo testing his weapons on an entire town is a pretty surprising display of carnage in a Dragon Ball property. He's not the most memorable villain I've ever seen, but his entire persona and power-up are enough to make him pretty entertaining to watch. Also, even if it's absoloutly non-canon, there is no way to reconicle the plot of this with the main storyline of Dragon Ball - with what we know what has already happened, it just can't make sense, which I thought was more funny then anything else.
As with it's predecessor, I was surprised how much I enjoyed the setting of World's Strongest - the futuristic fortress of Wheelo's base looks really fun, if utterly out of place in the Dragon Ball world. It's also nice to expand the world a little more - I don't think, at this point, we'd ever seen the cast in the Arctic areas of the planet before. Additionally, Wheelo's entire atmosphere, at least in the dub, is pretty unnerving, especially as he watched everything going on in the fortress via 2001 A Space Odyssey inspired cameras. Though I have to say, whilst Wheelo's brain coupled with his voice are somewhat intimidating - why the heck is his brain so big? It looks at least five times the size of a human brain, which is just kind of insane. The film also takes a little too long to get anywhere, since he have to suffer through the existence of Oolong and another one of Gohan's weird fantasises.
Easily the strongest aspect of the film, as it should be, are the fight scenes. We were still at a part in the power creep of the franchise where a lot of actual martial arts techniques are actually used. I got pretty excited to see Master Roshi dish out some pretty sick moves, and the fight against the bio-weapons are pretty tense, as the combos pulled out in Goku, Gohan and Krillin's fight against them are pretty brutal, which is sold by the pretty chilling screams from the cast. Though, the film does suffer from the Dragon Ball formula of an opponent being rapidly defeated after a sudden power-up, which whilst something I find really frustrating, makes sense due to the reduced runtime of the film making this equivalent of a three episode arc. The artstyle, still using the older look of early DBZ, looks wonderful adapted on the big screen once again, and is one of the best aspects of the film. For the most part, the animation looks great - fights are fluid, and even a lot of the comedic touches they blend into the fights look great just from how hilarious they look, like Goku on the ice.
It's good to see most the characters get a moment of two to shine in this film - even Master Roshi, which is always exciting to see dish out a few of his old man moves, even for a moment. Some of my major issues of this film really come down, though, to how badly they use some other characters - Bulma is little more then a chained up, screaming, damsel in distress, and Krillian doesn't do one useful thing in this film beside being a target for Wheelo's subordinate. Sure, they even point this out in the film, but it's really disappointing to see a legitemently great character be used little more then a joke. Honestly, when it comes to these films, Krillin is more Yamcha then Yamcha.
In the early days of Dragon Ball Z, Gohan's latent power is used frequently as a deus ex machina to quickly solve or ease a situation, but here I felt it was actually used well without utterly overpowering the enemy for no real reason. The way the film ends is satisfying enough, with everyone pitching in, but honestly I couldn't help but be a little disappointed that Goku's really the only one to pull the win from under Wheelo's feet, but I suppose you could argue the way Goku does it makes it a team effort. Honestly, it's kind of sad the most interesting techniques in the film come from the opponents, but it's still pretty exciting to see Goku whip out Kaioken in a time before Super Saiyan utterly outstripped it.
The World's Strongest is a perfect serviceable, non-canon entry in the Dragon Ball series. It has a mediocre, yet pretty impressive villain, and a really fun setting that sets it apart from other entires in the franchise. It's not something you'll be thinking about a week after you watched it, but for what it is, it's a solid hour long ride you should watch if you just want more Dragon Ball Z in your life, and if that's your desire, World's Strongest will that desire swimmingly.
This movie was better than the last movie. First off, the fights where more epic than the last, and they featured more characters in this one. What i really like is this pretty much the last time Master Roshi is seen fighting. This movie takes place somewhere between the Saiyan saga, and Frieza saga. Like all the DBZ movies, it contains plot inconsitencies. Like how piccolo is some how alive even though he was killed by Nappa. All and all this was a pretty good movie. What I really enjoyed was when Master Roshi, Krillin, and Goku used a Kamehameha wave all at the same
time against Wheelo.
I remember this being one of the better DBZ movies when I was a dumbass 14 year-old who liked the franchise, half a lifetime ago. I particularly recall enjoying the biomechanical monsters the Z warriors fought. Needless to write, nostalgia clouded my judgment.
As with any property related to DBZ, the plot is insipid. A mad scientist, Dr. Kochin, is able to easily gather all 7 Dragonballs before Goku and company even figure out what is going on. Some defenders of Earth they are! What is the point of even having a radar if they are going to ignore
it? It's not like Goku has a day job.
After summoning the Eternal Dragon, instead of wishing for ultimate power to easily defeat anyone in the universe, Dr. Kochin wishes for a few piddly glaciers to melt. This frees up the main mad scientist, Dr. Wheelo, who has been trapped there for 50 years.
Magically, despite being there all that time and unable to escape, he has a fully functioning laboratory, a power supply, and numerous minions when the glaciers are broken! Frankly, I was disappointed he didn't have a French restaurant with waiters, too.
Instead of getting straight to the fights, there is an interlude during which Gohan is back home and studying. It is boring and worthless. As usual with DBZ, there is entirely too much talking in this movie, and of the most moronic variety. "I'll make you pay!" "Silence, you fool!" "(Insert character name, yelled loudly)" "You can't win!" "My boy is growing up!"
Considering how mediocre and low-effort the fight scenes are to begin with, did the animators really have to take a break to insert dialogue worse than a 13 year-old's fan fiction?
Okay okay, but what about the actual enemies and fights themselves? While better than some of the DBZ movie sequels, they weren't as cool as I remembered them. Dr. Wheelo's biomechanical creations fight and function very similarly to the standard alien antagonists of the Z universe. Hell, they even look like aliens. One has a stretchy stomach, another ice breath, and a third tentacles of electricity. That's about it for the "creativity".
Also, any final fight that ends with a spirit bomb is disappointing and anticlimactic.
I can't imagine anything more boring (Goku stands there, with his hands raised, doing nothing) or more deus ex machina. (An easy get out of jail card when Goku is weaker than his nemesis but needs to defeat him in the last few minutes of the film)
In conclusion, this is lousy, although admittedly not as wretched as some of the mass-produced DBZ movies that followed.
Hmmm, "The World's Strongest" was actually better than the last Dragon Ball Z movie I watched (the one with the cyborgs). So I guessed (correctly) this must have been made before the other one, when they were less short of ideas. This movie is slightly more exciting than the other one, but other than that, it's the same stuff. Same crappy jokes, same unimpressive animation, and same retarded storyline. Again, the story spends a few minutes introducing who the bad guys are... then promptly descends into endless fighting. The only differences between this and the last Dragon Ball movie I watched is that this movie
spends maybe five minutes longer before the main battles start, and also Goku is fighting different opponents this time round. The fighting itself isn't much to talk about either, as it gets seriously repetitive after a few minutes. A bit of a worthless movie whichever angle you look at it from.