Thursday, November 19, 2015

Film Review: Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' (2015)

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' (Review)
Japan/2015
Format Viewed For Review: Blu-ray
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...one of the most exciting and entertaining films I've seen this year."

Frieza's incapacitated army, led by Sorbet, find the dragon balls and resurrect their sinister leader...

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' is a very simple film. After being swiftly resurrected, Freiza begins training to reach a new level of power and exact his revenge on Goku (Sean Schemmel). As Frieza arrives, he finds Goku is absent; Goku and Vegeta (Christopher R. Sabat) are training with Whis at Lord Beerus' humble abode. So, our group of remaining heroes — including Gohan, Piccolo, Krillin, Master Roshi and Tien — decide to hold off Frieza's forces until Goku can arrive. And, when Goku and Vegeta finally arrive, we get our epic climax. A battle between old adversaries with a few surprises. The film leads to a satisfying ending.

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' is a great film. Once again, we return to a universe filled with vibrant, likable characters — and, of course, the return of an iconic villain. There is plenty of light humor spread throughout the film, conjuring plenty of smiles and chuckles; however, I did feel it was a little less charming and humorous than Battle of Gods. On the other hand, I felt the action excelled in this installment. Each battle is fluid, exciting, and intense. There are plenty of edge-of-your-seat moments, especially during the climax. The battle with Frieza's army, for example, had an amazing sense of scale — it was fantastic.

On that very same battle and up to the end of the film, I noticed a few things. First and foremost, we are missing some vital characters, like Goten and Trunks. Knowing their personalities, it's doubtful they'd just ignore everything and never show up — that just seems out of character. It felt like there was less buildup for the characters and the general event. I mean, Frieza is resurrected so quickly and easily, it almost felt like there wasn't much thought put into that part of the narrative. These small inconsistencies don't spoil the film, not at all. Obviously I had a fun time watching the movie, but they are minor issues worth noting. If these inconsistencies were nonexistent or covered properly, this could have been the perfect film for Dragon Ball Z fans.

As usual, I watched the English dub of this film. (I must note: I usually watch the original dub for all content, but I've always enjoyed the English dub for DBZ. Call it nostalgia.) Sean Schemmel and Christopher R. Sabat return for their popular roles, delivering great voice acting with genuine character. The rest of the cast is also strong. The music sounds great, usually matching well with the current scene. The animation is slick and fluid, capturing the action without missing a beat. The art is vibrant and attractive. Tadayoshi Yamamuro directs from a screenplay written by Akira Toriyama. The direction is fine and dandy. As I stated earlier, I felt the writing could have been more thorough, especially during the introduction.

Overall, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' is a splendid film. It offers plenty of character, humor, and fast-paced action. It's one of the most exciting and entertaining films I've seen this year. Although it has some shortcomings compared to its immediate predecessor, especially in the character department, Resurrection 'F' also excels on its own merits — it's certainly the better action film of the two, that's one point. Bottom line: if you're a fan of the series or want something charming and action-packed, or all of the above, don't miss Resurrection 'F'. Really, it should be called Resurrection of Fun! No? I'm not really good at ending these reviews.

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

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