Dragon Ball Z is one of the most beloved franchises in the world. It was among the first anime to become wildly popular outside of Japan, and since then, the series has only continued to prosper, with new manga and anime still being produced.
When something is as popular as Dragon Ball Z, it's only a matter of time before Hollywood gets its hands on it. The result was Dragon Ball Evolution, a film that was Dragon Ball in name only. Everybody, fans and critics alike, hated it.
Now, in 2015, Dragon Ball Z fans finally have the live-action movie they deserve. It's a fan film called Dragon Ball Z: The Fall of Man, and it's a must watch for any fan of the series. The story follows Trunks in an alternate future, where he is the last standing Z Fighter capable of taking on the terror known as Cell. Though he knows he can't win, Trunks trains for a fateful showdown with one of DBZ's most enduring enemies.
When the fight does arrive around 15 minutes into the 25-minute film, it's non-stop action, as Cell and Trunks exchange flurries of kicks and punches against the backdrop of a stormy city skyline.
Remember the gritty, live-action Power Rangers short film that released earlier this year that got everybody talking? The Fall of Man is in the same vein, though it isn't quite as R-Rated. It features a dark, realistic style with some great fight scenes and stunning cinematography. The visuals are superb, especially for a fan film, and the sense of tone is spot-on. This is definitely a less light-hearted approach for a series that is often downright goofy, but the film creators make it work by going all in on the idea of a dark and gritty take on the Dragon Ball Z universe.
The Fall of Man is a must-watch for fans of the series and will almost wipe away all those painful memories of Dragon Ball Evolution — almost.