What can be said about Dragon Ball Z? We can all agree it’s one of the most iconic anime series of all time with a super diehard fanbase. While the show’s power level is certainly over 9000, it’s hard to deny that the franchise isn’t without some drawbacks. The action is totally badass, but we have to sit through a ton of long-winded dialog. The comedy is laugh out loud funny, except when it’s cringe inducing. The animation is stunning, although occasionally it’s kind of dull. The dubbing ranges from respectable to unintentionally hysterical, as if the voice actors were making fun of the script.
So the quality of DBZ is really all over the place. If you’re a true fan of the series, however, you’ve come just accept these flaws. Heck, maybe you’ve even come to enjoy some of the flaws. Resurrection ‘F’, the latest feature film in the seemingly never-ending franchise, is exactly what you’d expect. It’s basically an expended episode of the show. It won’t convert anybody who’s not already a fan, but it will satisfy those looking to get their DBZ fix.
The big bad this time around is Frieza naturally. Still sounding like an old woman coughing up a hairball, Frieza has spent eons in hell being tormented by dancing teddy bears and singing fairies. If you think about it, that really would be hell for any devious villain. When Frieza is resurrected, he vows to get his revenge on the Super Saiyan Goku and heads to earth with a massive army. It all amounts to a big showdown where the mortal enemies duke it out in yet another rematch.
As usual, there are plenty of things that don’t make any sense regarding the plot. For example, why does Frieza bother assembling an army when he can literally destroy a planet himself with zero effort? For that matter, if Goku is even stronger than Frieza, why doesn’t he immediately kill him when he first gets the chance? Given all the trouble Frieza has caused over the years, you’d think Goku would shove his moral code aside and end things as quickly as possible. Of course then we wouldn’t have a movie and for what Resurrection ‘F’ is, it gets the job done.
Although some parts do feel dragged out, the film picks up whenever the filmmakers put emphasis on the action, which is beautifully animated and choreographed. What’s more, the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously despite the end of the world being at risk. Throughout Goku and Frieza’s brawl, there are several moments where we cut to two other characters simply making banter about strawberry ice cream. That may sound meandering and out of place, but it actually injects a welcome laidback quality. These characters are more down-to-earth, humorous, and likable than one would expect.
That being said, this isn’t the anime to go to if you’re looking for really complex character development. You’re better off checking out Code Geass, Death Note, or any of Hayao Miyazaki’s pictures for that. The American Avatar: The Last Airbender is also a safe bet. Nobody seeks out Dragon Ball Z for deep emotion or rich themes, though. Even people that love the series will likely admit that it’s full of silly, stupid moments. That’s part of the appeal, however, much like the original Ninja Turtles cartoon or Power Rangers. Resurrection ‘F’ isn’t great, grand, or even epic, but for what it is, the film is testosterone filled fun. Now that’s what people seek Dragon Ball Z out for.