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    Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ (2015): Movie Review

    “A classic Dragon Ball Z movie with more wits and kicks.” 

    From creator Akira Toriyama and director Tadayoshi Yamamuro comes another action-packed and outrageously exhilarating movie in one of the most durable anime series in history. In Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, a legendary enemy rises from the dead to seek out a merciless revenge.

    Following the events of Battle of Gods, Earth is once again safe and peaceful. Thanks to our insanely delicious foods and Lord Beerus, the feline-looking God of Destruction, decides to spare it. Along with his strong and powerful servant Whis, Lord Beerus trains Goku and Vegeta somewhere far from Earth. Meanwhile, Gohan, Piccolo and the others have settled into a domestic life.

    Somewhere in the outer space, Frieza’s former lieutenant, Sorbet, plans to revive his former master. Along with Tagoma, he comes to Earth and looks for the magical orbs known as the “dragon balls.” When the dragon Shenlong is summoned, Sorbet wished for the resurrection of Frieza who was obliterated by the futuristic Trunks in the earlier Dragon Ball Z history. Shenlong restores Frieza’s soul while his body which was slashed into pieces during the decisive battle is pieced together using Sorbet’s machine.

    After months of training, Frieza finally launches a massive attack on Earth. While Gohan and the others fight off the less powerful underlings, Goku and Vegeta take a break from their off-planet training to face the newly-rejuvenated Frieza. 

    Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ is a refreshing sight amidst all the presently-trending 3D animated films. Its two-dimensional feature feels authentic, organic and nostalgic. Even if you are unfamiliar or not a big fan of the anime, the film will still captivate you with its vibrant and colourful animation. The funny-looking characters with their outrageous superpowers will also draw you in. For hardcore fans, the presence of Goku and his friends will awaken certain bittersweet memories. New figure in the film, Jaco the Galactic Patrolman, brings in a different kind of vibe and excitement.

    Typical of Dragon Ball Z movies, the present film has tasteful fight scenes with over-the-top actions. It is funny how the characters talk at length about what they will do before engaging in the actual fight. Do you think they are just too generous to tell the enemies how to defeat them? With regards to that, the film is filled with slapstick comedy and surprising humor. The opening scene where Frieza’s soul is in “hell” surrounded with cute and cuddly stuffed bears and the like is disturbingly funny. Lord Beerus’ affinity to tasty foods, Piccolo as nanny, and Goku’s simple-mindedness are some of the film’s other pretty good humor. Hence, the film is serious with its mythology and yet has space for goofy and quirky stuff.

    Another good thing about the film is its continuity in relation to Frieza’s empire. It clearly answers how his army scatter after his defeat. When his new army attacks, another classic Dragon Ball Z style can be observed – the non-Saiyan friends hold off the enemies while waiting for Goku to come and save the day. Interestingly, Frieza plays on Vegeta’s egotism and Goku’s soft-heartedness to make the battle even more difficult. He also evolves into a very menacing form – the Golden Frieza. However, our heroes come prepared with their blue-haired “Super Saiyan God” personas.

    A major drawback in the film is its slim storyline filled with illogical ideas. It’s quite smart that the enemies finally exploit the dragon balls in order to resurrect the dead. But why can’t Shenlong revive Frieza body, soul and all? Why does Frieza have to come in pieces? Why did he not simply annihilate Gohan and the others? Wouldn’t that be a better revenge against Goku?

    Despite its rapid pace, the film also fails to establish the necessary tension to make Frieza a frightening threat. Frieza’s assault on Earth feels forced and unnatural. It lacks urgency and pressure, resulting to a less impactful climax. In the end, it appears the present film played it too safe, relying mostly on the usual formula and the anime’s long-standing reputation. The characters remain unchanged, particularly Goku and Vegeta who do not achieve the unity and synergy that would have made Frieza’s defeat more satisfying. Such character growth would solicit more promising future for the series. Besides, a resurrected enemy, who was once defeated and shredded, is a less thrilling enemy than a new entity with unknown powers and capabilities. 

    Despite its weak narrative and anti-progressive impression, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ remains a highly-watchable film for people of all ages, sexes and races. Presented in two-dimensional animation, the film is colourful, evocative, dynamic and gripping. As much as its actions are tight, its comedy is spot-on. True to Dragon Ball Z conventions, Goku certainly holds the fate of the entire Earth.


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