One of the most popular and enduring anime franchises of all time, the Dragon Ball series continues on its merry way following a master race of warriors engaged in intergalactic exploration and warfare. Dragon Ball Super: Broly marks the 20th film in the series (although this is a stand-alone outing) and seeks to recruit newcomers to the genre as well as satisfying longtime fans.
But for first-timers, it's going to be a struggle. Plot-wise anyway. Consider: the Saiyan home planet of Vegeta has been destroyed by the evil Frieza Force. Goku and Vegeta, presumed to be the only Saiyan survivors of the genocide, seek refuge on Earth where they seem resigned to an uneventful exile.
But Frieza isn't going to let Goku and Vegeta off so easily. Not content with his considerable destruction to date, he unleashes a new weapon on the two trapped Saiyans. And in an artful twist, it's a Saiyan who will act as Frieza's agent. Banished to another distant and inhospitable planet when he was a child because his power levels were perceived as a threat to Vegeta, Broly is a super fighter of amazing power reared to be an indiscriminate killing machine by his father; there really wasn't much else to do on the lonely planet where Broly grew up.
So Broly is dropped to Earth and a hectic rendezvous with Goku and Vegeta follows. And then keeps going. And going. The fight scene is lengthy and astonishingly fast-paced - many times you can't really tell what's going on. The battle takes its toll, not just on the fighters: mountains are barrelled through, the land is scorched. The animation is incredibly quick, the warriors moving at breakneck speed, all trying to prove their fighting superiority.
If the preceding made little sense, don't worry - it doesn't make much more after viewing the film. It's kind of superfluous anyway, the point is to get to the fight scene, which is what diehard fans will pay their money for. The cheesy humour thrown in and the small cameos by recurring Dragon Ball characters will act in a similar fashion, delighting the fan base but not winning over new recruits.
The uninitiated will emerge from Dragon Ball Super: Broly wondering what the hell just happened. Anime fans will leave delighted.