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Dragon Ball Z: The Movie - Lord Slug

1 rating: 1.0
A movie directed by Mitsuo Hashimoto

The immensely popular anime series, DRAGONBALL Z, presents its fourth feature with LORD SLUG. An action-packed adventure, Goku and the gang must fend off an evil attack on earth from a strange villain. This horribly diabolic enemy has emerged from an … see full wiki

Director: Mitsuo Hashimoto
Release Date: 2001
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Dragon Ball Z: The Movie - Lord Slug

"Slugs are nasty!"

  • Feb 15, 2008
Rating:
+1
Pros: Killing without mercy; good fight scenes

Cons: Some horrendous English dialogue; no Vegeta

The Bottom Line: If you like DBZ, go for it. If not, go find something else to watch.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

“Okay. I should watch this. That way I can review it and get rid of it. …I don’t really want to do this.”

That’s precisely what I was thinking before popping in the fourth Dragon Ball Z movie. If you know what DBZ is, then skip the next paragraph. If not, it is possible to get away with seeing this movie on its own. I don’t recommend it, but I am willing to give you a crash course in DBZ-dom.

Goku is a Saiyan. Saiyans are super powerful. Think Superman-powerful. He has friends that are nearly as strong as him; they all fight, fly, and do battle against evil. All in a day’s work. The world of Dragon Ball Z revolves around Goku and his acquaintances and there have been 13 movies and numerous seasons. This happens to be the fourth movie, with no connections to the other movies, and plot-wise, no actual ties to the series (as in you don’t have to see this or the series in order for events to make sense). A final note: Piccolo is a Namek, an alien – not a native of Earth (then again, neither is Goku).

There’s a lot more to DBZ than just that, but that’s really all you have to know in order to watch this movie. Also, if you have any other questions, look online, as you can find pretty much any answer you might need. On with the film. Oh, and beware, my initial statement was made because movie 4 has long since been known as the worst of all DBZ movies made, hence the reason it has literally taken me years to bother watching it.

Lord Slug is old and a nomad of space. He and his minions arrive on Earth to begin taking over the planet for themselves until Gohan starts fighting back. Lord Slug spots the little dragon ball on Gohan’s hat and orders his men to find the remaining six. Thus Lord Slug joins the elite club of bad guys who have called the dragon and successfully had their wish granted. In Lord Slug’s case, eternal youth. Goku, Gohan, Piccolo, and Krillin aren’t going to let Slug take Earth without a fight, but with Lord Slug’s newfound power, will they be able to stop him?

I think we all know the answer to that.

The real question is what acts as the kicker to enable Goku to suddenly get super-powered up and defeat Slug. Many DBZ watchers already know, having heard of the infamous whistle. If you don’t know, well, now you have some idea, but it’s still one of those things you have to see so you can really get the chance to say, “Dude, seriously?”

I went into this movie thinking I would end up giving it one or two stars. In fact, it managed to make three. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. While some may dismiss the fights as no fun or weak, after years of seeing the good guys get the crap kicked out of them for hours on end, and sometimes by minions of the bad guy, it was refreshing (yes, refreshing) to see Piccolo break an underling’s hand and fry him into oblivion without even breaking a sweat. It was great to see Goku kill two guys without his usual mercy-granting issue. I loved it. I ate it up. I’m tired of the usual stuff and it’s been quite a long time since I’ve seen any of the good DBZ guys dispatch a bad guy without a problem (mentally and physically).

Story-wise, it isn’t too bad, but it gets a little annoying and ridiculous at the end. Annoying because Goku is kicking butt and taking names like there’s no tomorrow (even showing a little inkling of his future Super Saiyan self), until he finds out what Lord Slug really is. Then for some reason he gets all nicey-nice: “I don’t want to hurt you!” for some bizarre reason and gets himself trashed again. Though I do have to say, it was funny seeing him get punched out of his shirt – literally. Goku always ends up without a shirt, and this is the most unusual method I’ve seen him lose it. The ridiculousness comes in relation to how they’re able to beat Lord Slug – the turning point. Stupid, lame, and sorry Piccolo, but ripping off your ears does not mean your ear drums cease to function. Not buying it. I wouldn’t buy it if I was 13 again either.

The animation is good, as always, that includes purple Namek blood, electric blue power sparks, bright sunshiny days, and so forth. It’s not the crisp, clear animation you see these days in many anime, but even old school DBZ has skill you can’t deny. It’s well done and entirely enjoyable.

While the Japanese version is what it is – older, semi-hokey because of it’s age, but still fun for the same reason – the English version is a bit different. Ok, very different. I like the Japanese version because I’m very familiar with DBZ and the original style. Others may find it odd. The English version took a bit of getting used to because though it’s an older movie, they have the “newer” voices (the cast that took over somewhere during the Freeza Saga of the series). I miss the older ones, but I’m familiar with these guys, so all was well. They know their roles and perform them with gusto (listen to Sean Schemmel scream!). The problem lies in the dialogue. Who was translating?? The title of this review is an actual line from the movie that some random person says after a bunch of aliens popped out of the ship and declared Earth property of Lord Slug. Who says that? Honestly. There were some really, really lame lines in this movie, some of which I truly do not know how they got there. It’s distracting.

Likewise, the English music is a little distracting as well. They were going for “cool” when they chose the music, and got songs from artists like Disturbed (“Stupefy”) to play in the background. I don’t mind the rock, and sometimes it worked out nicely, but even when played low the lyrics were out of place and made it feel weird.

Despite the weird hiccups in the English version, it’s still decent, and as much as I would have loved for Vegeta to pop up, rip Lord Slug’s lungs out with ease, and then look at Goku and smirk in that “I’m better than you” way, it’s not as bad a movie as I thought. And I admit to giggling when Master Roshi woke up at the end of the movie, having happily slept through the whole ordeal. Good ole Master Roshi.

NT


The Series
Dragon Ball Z - Saiyan Saga: 8-Volume Box Set
Dragon Ball Z - Namek Saga: 9-Volume Set
Dragon Ball Z - Captain Ginyu Saga: 2-Volume Box Set
Dragon Ball Z - Frieza Saga: 10-Volume Box Set
Dragon Ball Z - Garlic Jr. Saga: 3-Volume Box Set
Dragon Ball Z - Trunks Saga: 4-Volume Box Set
Dragon Ball Z - Androids Saga: 4-Volume Box Set
Dragon Ball Z - Imperfect Cell Saga: 4-Volume Box Set
Dragon Ball Z - Perfect Cell Saga: 4-Volume Box Set
Dragon Ball Z - World Tournament Saga: 3-Volume Box Set
Dragon Ball Z - Babidi Saga: 4-Volume Box Set
Dragon Ball Z - Majin Buu Saga: 7-Volume Box Set

The Movies
Dragon Ball Z: The Movie - Dead Zone
Dragon Ball Z: The Movie - The World's Strongest
Dragon Ball Z: The Movie - The Tree of Might
Dragon Ball Z: The Movie – Cooler’s Revenge
Dragon Ball Z: The Movie - The Return of Cooler
Dragon Ball Z: The Movie - Super Android 13
Dragon Ball Z: The Movie - Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan
Dragon Ball Z: The Movie - Bojack Unbound
Dragon Ball Z: The Movie - Broly: Second Coming
Dragon Ball Z: The Movie - Bio-Broly
Dragon Ball Z: The Movie - Fusion Reborn

Specials
Dragon Ball Z: Special - The History of Trunks

Recommended:
Yes

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""Slugs are nasty!""
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