Sep 8, 2015
YoungVagabond (All reviews)
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.