Turles (Masako Nozawa), a mysterious Saiyan bearing a strong resemblance to Goku (Masako Nozawa), visits the earth, where he and his five henchmen plant the Tree of Might. The so-called Tree of Might grows to colossal proportions and sucks the life out of the planet to bear a potent fruit which will give an exponential power boost to anyone who eats it. Goku and friends, not about to sit idly as the Earth is sucked dry, take off to do battle with the alien invaders when King Kai (Joji Yanami) informs Goku of the sinister plot via telepathy. Soon it seems Goku and the gang have bitten off more than they can chew and, when Turles sinks his own teeth into one of the super-fruits, their chances appear grimmer than ever.
I have a vague recollection of having seen The Tree of Might about a decade ago and I was genuinely looking forward to revisiting it since I always found the premise of a giant tree that sucks the nutrients from the earth to bear super-fruit intriguing. Intriguing, it remains, but, unfortunately, I can't say the same about the movie as a whole. With a runtime of one hour though, it never comes as a surprise that the Dragon Ball Z films don't meet the same standard as the 291-episode television series. Also like other Dragon Ball Z films, it's impossible to say how or where The Tree of Might fits into the Dragon Ball Z chronology because, no matter where you try to place it, you're bound to find dozens of contradictions. I've always found the inconsistency with the television series distracting.
The battles are mostly uninteresting. I'd like to have seen more of Cacao, the cyborg guy with magmatic flesh. Cacao was by far the most interesting character design for the film, especially given that the main villain, Turles, is just Goku with a moderately different color scheme and some Saiyan armor. Of course, being uncanonical, it's never explained where Turles comes from. Goku and Vegeta were supposed to be the only full-blooded Saiyans remaining, so what hole did this guy crawl out of?
Unfortunately, so many questions are raised that it's difficult to enjoy The Tree of Might, but I will say it's a minor step up from the first two Dragon Ball Z films, Dead Zone (1989) and The World's Strongest (1990). It's a shame such an intriguing premise wasn't better handled.