DISCLAIMER: SPOILERS AHEAD.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge Dragon Ball Z fan. No, I still have not seen Dragon Ball or Dragon Ball GT, though I am told I am not really missing out on anything in either department. So, when I found out that Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F was coming to theatres for a limited run from August 4- August 12, you know I jumped on tickets.
Well, I just saw it. And now, here I am, to give you my thoughts on Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F.
In case you somehow managed to miss the Disclaimer earlier, I’m going to put it here again: SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! I will be discussing in depth plot points and character lines. If you have not seen the movie and do not want it spoiled for you, READ NO FURTHER. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. I cannot be held responsible for ruining the movie for you if you choose to read beyond this point!
The movie starts out in a surreal, Whimsyshire-esque field of flowers with a single tree. Fairies of all shapes and sizes are flitting about, and a small herd of cutesy stuffed toys, playing a variety of musical instruments, are dancing about and being adorable.
Cue mecha Frieza (you remember what he looked like after Goku left him for dead in the space where Old Namek used to be and he was found by King Cold and reassembled), hanging in a white cocoon from said tree, looking like he’s about to bust a vein in his forehead, he’s so angry. It appears that Frieza has been suffering in his own, personal Hell since Future Trunks’ devastating Burning Slash combo and subsequent immolation of all of his Frieza chunks, leaving nothing to be resurrected.
Yeah, well, it turns out Shenron is more powerful than we thought.
Since that time, the Frieza Force has been out trying to maintain a hold on all of the systems Frieza had conquered and were being led by Sorbet, formerly a member of Lord Frieza’s support staff. Sorbet, however, is no Frieza, and is rapidly losing control of the subjugated systems, so he comes up with a plan to use the Dragon Balls on New Namek to resurrect Frieza and take control of the rapidly rebelling systems. He sent out armies of scouting drones to locate New Namek and the two Super Saiyans responsible for Frieza’s demise- Goku and Future Trunks. While they were successful in locating- and watching- Goku, both New Namek and Future Trunks remained unlocated. But Sorbet is not easily defeated. Settling instead on using Earth’s Dragon Balls (because wouldn’t that be perfectly ironic?), he and another minion, Tagoma, head for Earth so that their chances of remaining undetected would be high.
Needless to say, we get a Shenron visitation, and he is just as gloriously snarky as he has always been. Sorbet makes his wish, and Frieza is returned to the land of the living in the same state he was in when he left it- chunked- and Sorbet and Tagoma retreat with their Frieza meat pie. They resurrect Frieza, who immediately decides he needs to train for four months to ensure he defeats Goku and Trunks. Meanwhile, somewhere else on Earth, Piccolo and Gohan realize that someone has summoned Shenron, and they don’t know who.
Then Jaco the Intergalactic Patrolman shows up and informs Bulma that Frieza has been resurrected. Unfortunately, both Goku and Vegeta are training with Whis on some distant world and are unable to come to the immediate rescue, learning how they could improve their fighting skills and that, were they to work together, they would be able to take down Beerus, and probably even Whis himself. But Bulma has a problem and she has to deal with it now, so in typical Bulma fashion, she does the next best thing and starts summoning the Z Fighters!
And here is where the movie synopsis stops and the review begins.
From this point on, it is pretty much nonstop action. You get to see all of your favorite Z Fighters, and the best part is they’re still relevant-every one of the Z Fighters you see kicks some serious bad guy booty as they fend off hundreds of Frieza’s soldiers, and we get to see their signature moves, from Krillin’s Destructo Disc to Tien’s Tri-Beam (Chiaotzu and Yamcha, hilariously enough, do not make it to the battle, asked by Tien to stay behind because”the are not strong enough”), and Piccolo’s Special Beam Cannon. A bulked up Master Roshi does some fighting, which we haven’t seen in a long time, and Gohan even goes Super Saiyan for us for a little bit as Frieza remembers that “the son of Goku could easily kill 1,000 men single handedly, if he so chose!” Really, the fighting animations were on point (while the swarming CGI seemed a little weird) and I really enjoyed seeing the Z Fighters bringing it back old school and kicking some serious butt and not being relegated to the background like they had in the past (I squeed a little when I saw Tien’s Kikoho, not gonna lie.)
Ultimately, however, this story is about Goku and Frieza, and in the end, that’s what we get the most of-an epic, all out battle between enemies. The battle animations are fierce- strike and counterstrike, block, parry, and dodge are all meticulously drawn and flow from one to the other seamlessly. There is excellent use of camera angle and position, and you get to see just how far both Goku and Frieza have come. You don’t get to see the transformations right off, either-Frieza goes right from his first to his final form (realizing his mistake on Namek-and the writers and animators weren’t waiting on the next episode of the manga to be released), but Goku doesn’t fully power up right off the bat (and Vegeta seems at least partially content to sit back and watch for the time being, though that doesn’t last long.) I was a little underwhelmed by the lack of explanation for Goku’s SSGSS transformation-I was kind of hoping he’d go from Super Saiyan God to the new, blue haired SSGSS and get something more than “I learned how to tap into the power of a god at will,” but I suppose what little we did get was sufficient. Golden Frieza got the same treatment, but he didn’t really need much, honestly. “Gold is a little gauche” but it is the standard transformation color in Dragon Ball Z, so I wasn’t surprised that they’d decided to stick with it for Frieza.
What I found fascinating was how well they stuck to Frieza’s original character flaws-he’s overconfident to a fault and thinks he’s better than everyone, so much so that both Goku and Vegeta have no problems in picking out Golden Frieza’s weakness-his inability to control the amount of energy his new form consumes and produces, making it unstable and, ultimately, causing it to fail when he needs it the most, whereas Goku and Vegeta have been Super Saiyans for years at this point and fully understand the capabilities and limitations of the SSGSS form, allowing them to maintain it longer and knowing how to use its power over longer periods of time.
In the end, Frieza is, of course, defeated-but not the way that you think. Whis has the ability to rewind time (to a maximum of three minutes) and when Frieza uses a cheap trick to destroy the planet, they are able to reverse the clock and Goku finally-FINALLY-once and for all, defeats Frieza with a Kamehameha, atomizing him (much to Vegeta’s chagrin, as it was HIS turn, after all- damn you, Kakarot!)
My favorite scenes: First was on Beeru’s weird little world, where we see the God of Destruction eating on some pizza. He asks Whis what this “strange stingy substance on top” of the pizza is, and Vegeta moans, “Its cheese!” in the funniest voice imaginable. Second was when Vegeta finally got a chance to fight Golden Frieza in his SSGSS form and he simply shrugs all of Frieza’s attacks whilst slowly striding towards the rapidly fading Frieza: so calm, so collected, like an unstoppable force. SO AWESOME.
I was not disappointed by this movie at all. I loved it pretty much from start to finish, despite the weird CGI and the lack of transformation explanation. Remember, folks-Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F is only going to be in theatres for a LIMITED TIME, from August 4- August 12! Get out there and see if before its too late! I promise you-you will not regret it!