I have always been a major fan of anything Dragon Ball, having watched every episode of each series (yes, including DB GT) at least twice. I am not going to lie, I had been wanting to see a live-action version of the show for some time after watching the anime for so many years. I was hoping for something close to the show but with, well you know, real people. DB Evolution was the single greatest disappointment of my movie experiences and its memory still hurts my brain. DB Light of Hope episode 1 literally came out of nowhere one day when I was searching through YouTube and it blew me away. It was amazing what a group of people who had actual passion (rather than monetary greed) for the show on a budget a fraction of the Hollywood calamity.
Since episode 1 came out I had donated to their campaign and was eagerly awaiting episodes 2+3. I waited and waited, then waited some more. Then I forgot about it since DB Super came out. To my delight, I got a notification that episode 2 had come out this month and i watched it almost instantly.
DB Light of Hope episode 2 follows on nicely from episode 1 and continues along the storyline that parallels "The History of Trunks". As such, DB fans knew what to expect, but hoped for some new element that makes this standout from the anime. Aside from a couple of minor plot points though, it stays true to the origin movie which was somewhat disappointing. However, what I loved about this movie was that the action sequences were very well done, especially considering their budget. Of course, the CGI was of low quality, but you could appreciate what they were getting at.
This project has a number of positives that can be gleaned, however it is not perfect. The strengths of something like this depends on a solid cast and this is where DB Light of Hope falls flat. The actors who played Gohan and Trunks were just not very good. They just did not seem properly in character and it felt as though they was a barrier between their performance and what could have been. Turning to the androids 1718, we all know that they are meant to be robot-like and devoid of emotion. In the anime this was done very well, but the actors here again felt like they were not all there. Things like CGI can be forgiven since this reflects their budget, but poor casting cannot I'm afraid.
Taken together, DB Light of Hope is an excellent fan film. It mirrors DB very well, unlike its Hollywood counterpart which tried to appeal to the masses. It is action- packed with great CGI and action sequences considering their budget. One could only imagine what the possibilities could be if Hollywood approached them so that fans like us can get the live-action version we deserve.
Review by smetin from the Internet Movie Database.