Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Film Review: Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (2013)

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (Review)
Japan/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Blu-ray (Extended Edition)
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No 

"...a refreshing blend of action and comedy that entertains for every second of its runtime."

Beerus, the God of Destruction, awakens from his slumber to news of Frieza's demise at the hands of Goku. The news reminds him of a prophecy involving a Super Saiyan God he would like to fight...

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods follows Beerus and his assistant, Whis, as they seek out the Super Saiyan God. Of course, they first meet and spar with Goku, who defeated Frieza. Disappointed, Beerus then travels to Earth to meet the other Saiyans. On Earth, Bulma is celebrating her birthday with the whole crew -- and some other familiar faces. Although the entire film is humorous, this segment had the largest share of its hilarity. The story continues with this nice balance of humor and action as Beerus enjoys Earthly amenities and spars a bit. The climax is as epic as anyone could expect. I liked most of the ending, but it sort of felt like a cop-out.

I really enjoyed Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. In fact, I loved it. I'm a big fan of the animated series and the many movies it has spawned, so call me a little biased. (I'm not as familiar with the manga, though, please done hate me!) That doesn't change the fact, though: I loved this film. It captured the warm heart and lively soul of the series. The blazing fast action is superb and well-balanced; it has never been as fluid and vivid as this. The goofy humor had me laughing more than most comedies nowadays. The characters were often cheeky and quirky, especially the new characters who have plenty of lazy sass; there are so many characters, though, it's unfortunate we couldn't spend more time with them. Its overall charm is truly undeniable.

I rarely watch dubs. In fact, I never watch dubs for live-action movies. However, I've always enjoyed the English dub for Dragon Ball Z, and this matches that quality. Sean Schemmel is as great as ever as Goku. Christopher R. Sabat lost some of his touch, but still delivers a strong Vegeta. The music is great. The animation is slick, it's very fluid and vivid; although some may not like its style, I thought it looked fantastic. Director Masahiro Hosoda captures the magnificent essence of this series perfectly; the blend of fast-paced action and goofy humor is seamless. Akira Toriyama assists in the screenplay, and I feel like it was really evident.

Overall, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is a fantastic animated film -- really, it's a fantastic film in general. It's a refreshing blend of action and comedy that entertains for every second of its runtime. It's also a great film for fans old and new. I had one minor issue with the ending, though. Otherwise, this was an amazing experience. It's probably my new favorite Dragon Ball Z film behind Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Animated violence and blood, some language.

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