If you’re not sure what I mean by the Red Ribbon Army, do not despair.
“Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero,” the latest animated film that’s part of the “Dragon Ball” manga universe, will explain it all.
Don’t get me wrong. You’ll need to pay attention. I’m not a devoted fan, so I am not very familiar with the characters or the history of the series. Most of the time, though, expository dialogue kept me informed.
Essentially, the Red Ribbon Army, which once was destroyed, are the bad guys. And villain Magenta wants to take over the world – in movies like this, you need that kind of bad guy to give the good guys a reason to reunite. Of course, the assistance of a genius scientist named Dr. Hedo, who is misled, is enlisted.
Good guy Piccolo is on hand for much of the movie as he gets ready for battle by connecting with his previous allies.
Aficionados who grew up on this stuff are bound to love this much more than I did.
Still, I really enjoyed it. I appreciated the often-humorous dialogue. The mind-blowing animation also is engaging, especially in the fight scenes. I always have appreciated the themes about friendship and courage that are prevalent in manga-based films.
I was tickled to receive a plea from the studio not to divulge certain plot points. This is incredibly rare, and I respect it.
So this is it. I won’t reveal the presence of some characters. Why spoil the fun for either newcomers or longtime fans?
If you’re already a fan, you’re already set to go see it. If you’ve only contemplated seeing one of these films, this one wouldn’t be a bad place to start.
Rated: PG-13 for coarse language and violence.
Running time: One hour and 40 minutes.
At Cinemark, Davenport; Regal, Moline; and Palms 10, Muscatine.
Watch the trailer here.