The hero returns
I was one of many kids who would rush straight home after school to watch Dragon Ball Z on Toonami back in the late 90s. 11 years has passed since I last saw Dragon Ball Z on TV and 14 years since I last saw a DBZ movie ("The World's Strongest" was the first DBZ movie I ever saw). The theater I attended for a screening of Battle of Gods was completely packed, with several people sitting on the floor because they couldn't find a seat, anxiously waiting for the movie to start. At this moment, I realized I was surrounded by the same kids who grew up watching Dragon Ball Z back in the day. Battle of Gods begins with a conversation between King Kai and Supreme kai, talking about the pending danger that is coming. Lord Beerus,
the God of Destruction, has been awoken by his assistant Whis after sleeping for 39 years. Beerus is informed that during his sleep, Freeza had been defeated by Goku, which leads him to believe that he may be the Super Saiyan God he had dreamed about, a warrior capable of matching his power. The two meet Goku who is training on King Kai's planet and much to Beerus' surprise, he is not what he expected. However, Goku is excited to have the opportunity of fighting a God and decides to challenge Beerus, despite King Kai's warnings that his power level is nowhere near that of a deity's level. Unfortunately, even after powering up to Super Saiyan 3, Goku is subdued and defeated by Beerus with just two hits, who walks away whistling nonchalantly. Things get worse as Beerus decides to go to Earth to investigate if Goku's friends know about the Super Saiyan God. And if anyone does anything that upsets or annoys him, it will literally mean the destruction of the planet.
There are some things Battle of Gods gets right. For one, the comedy is funny if not just a little misplaced. Weaving jokes and action is a complicated process, although humor has always existed in the DBZ universe. Everyone in the audience laughed at the appropriate moment, and not once did I cringe at something that was not meant to be funny. The other thing the movie gets right is Beerus. As a villain, he is among the most intriguing in the DBZ lore and in anime in general. He's not malicious at heart nor is he an individual
with a tragic history who wants revenge. Even though he is the God of Destruction, the only thing he seeks throughout the whole movie is a worthy opponent and nothing more. In some sense, this makes him more likable than hated. I noticed several people who would laugh at every facial expression or comment Beerus made. Lastly, and the biggest highlight of the film are the fight scenes. The inevitable final battle between Goku and Beerus is among the most exhilarating in the whole franchise. The conclusion to the fight also surprised me as it ends differently than previous movies have but I won't spoil that here, which brings me to my one and only gripe about the film; it's over too soon. Clocking at about 85 minutes, this is one of the shortest movies I've seen and yet it is the longest DBZ film to date. Despite being over so soon, the film never feels rushed to reach its ending, although I do wish the final fight had gone on just a little longer. Other than that, I enjoyed the film.
Soon as the credits started rolling, everyone in the audience clapped and cheered. Nostalgia is a nice feeling. It reminds you of something you have either forgotten or have long missed. Seeing Dragon Ball Z on the big screen for the first time after so many years got me in touch with my inner 11 year old self; a simpler time where the only thing I had to worry about was finishing my homework in time before the show started. This wasn't just a movie; it was a chance to relive a piece of our childhood.
-Reviewed 8/5/14 by Razor
-Reviewed 8/5/14 by Razor