(Posted to my Facebook page on August 11, 2015)
The last few years have been huge for classic anime franchise Dragon Ball. Battle of Gods was the first movie for the series in 17 years, and Dragon Ball Super airing nearly two decades after the end of Dragon Ball Z. To add to that, we have the brand new film recently released here in America: Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’
Taking place after the events of Battle of Gods, Resurrection ‘F’ shows that since Trunks killed Freeza and King Cold, their empire has been falling to pieces. With no choice left, their current leader Sorbet decides to revive Freeza using the Dragon Balls. However, they have been unsuccessful in locating New Namek and the Namekians, and instead travel to Earth to use their Dragon Balls. With the help of Emperor Pilaf, they soon do just that. The revived Freeza, learning of Goku’s immense jump in power, decides to do some drastic training so he can enact his revenge.
As a sequel to Battle of Gods, this movie really hits home. It brings some really fantastic humor and references while still containing the pulse-pounding action that made Dragon Ball famous in the first place. Many of your favorite characters return, but unfortunately even more do not. Majin Buu, Hercule, Chiaotzu, Yamcha, Goten, Trunks, Chi Chi, Dende… all of these characters and more are never seen once in the whole movie. I understand that trying to crowbar them all in could make the movie seem crowded and not give the main characters enough time, but I was especially interested in seeing Buu and Freeza fight, especially after Bulma makes one particular comment about Gohan and Buu holding Freeza off until Goku could arrive. However, Whis and Beerus return and are just as funny as they were in Battle of Gods, and even a “new” character from one of Toriyama’s recent mini-series’ named Jaco makes an appearance and manages to fit in quite nicely with the rest of the Z-Fighters.
The animation is just as amazing as it always is; colorful yet stark, energetic and yet able to be calm when it needs to be. My only real complaint is that I can absolutely tell that some parts of the fight used CGI rather than the traditional hand-drawn animation which was distracting and a little disappointing.
Some scenes also seemed to be lacking some level of ambiance and music… some of the fights just seemed to carry on nearly in silence (Apart from the explosions) and some of the traditional heavy DBZ fighting music could really have helped here. Not to say that the whole movie is like that… there are some really well done songs that can really add to fights when they’re there, including this metal song that I’ve included.
Despite the music and certain parts of the animation lacking here and there, the fights themselves are just as incredible as ever. Each blow has an impact that seems to rattle the whole theatre and the energy attacks are just as epic as I remember them. Just with the show, Resurrection ‘F’ remembers just how to build tension with quiet and slow moments just as much as its more action-packed moments. Some people think that’s what makes Dragon Ball bad, how slow it can be at times, but that’s exactly what can make it so exciting. Like a good samurai film, the moments before the fight or even during with a power-up or beam struggle, just the act of witnessing these calms in the storm give a weight to ever single moment that keeps you on the edge of your seat. (And for the record, yes, Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan is a really stupid name. As is Golden Freeza. Still cool though)
Even if you aren’t exactly a Dragon Ball fan but like Anime in general, this is a movie worth checking out. It’s a blast from beginning to end with enough laughs for just about anyone. Grab some Senzu Beans for the experience because this movie’s intense enough to wear you out.
I give Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ a 4 out of 5.