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[REVIEW] ‘Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F” Wows Fans (Spoiler Free)

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In 2009 the world saw the release of Dragonball Evolution, the long-awaited live-action adaptation of the Dragon Ball universe. The general consensus is that the film got it horribly wrong, and the Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z communities felt more betrayed than Goku against Majin Vegeta.

Dragon Ball series creator Akira Toriyama responded to the outrage by producing the first Dragon Ball Z film the world had seen in 18 years: Battle of Gods. Finally, Goku and the Z Fighters were back in action against new foes!

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ is a direct sequel to Battle of Gods and brings back the most infamous villain in the Dragon Ball Z universe: Lord Frieza. From now until August 12, viewers can catch the English dub of this awesome film on the big screen!

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Image: DragonBallZ.com

In Resurrection ‘F’ we get to see the mystical Dragon Balls used for evil purposes. Lord Frieza is resurrected by the Frieza Force, and the most iconic DBZ villain of them all heads to Earth to exact revenge on Goku once and for all.

What follows is a brilliant two-hour gem that delivers enough action and laughs to satisfy fan expectations and leave them wanting more. I enjoyed Resurrection ‘F’ much more than Battle of Gods, and it’s my opinion that these new DBZ films will bring the franchise into a new glorious modern era.

Animation

As a fan of the old-school DBZ series, I was worried that Resurrection ‘F’ wouldn’t capture the gritty art form I had fallen in love with in the old episodes from the 80s/90s. Like Battle of Gods, Resurrection ‘F’ boasts squeaky-clean line work, less saturated color, and every die-hard 2D animation lover’s nightmare: CGI.

It was tough, but I had to accept the fact that the old animation style of Dragon Ball Z is over and done with. As a result, certain characters in Resurrection ‘F’ will look off-model from what viewers are used to seeing in the Saiyan, Frieza, Cell, and Buu Sagas. It was distracting for me as a viewer, but that kind of disparity is inevitable after an 18-year-long feature film hiatus. After all, how many of the original DBZ animators are even around anymore?

Still, the film pulls off some amazing fight scenes. One of the greatest sequences in the film is the warm-up battle between the Z Fighters and Frieza’s minions (all one thousand of them). Computerized imagery really helped make possible this unprecedented brawl as each hero takes on 100+ butt-ugly Frieza Force dudes at once.

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Image: DragonBallZ.com

The big battle between Goku and Frieza features some stunning animation that will remind fans of the classic DBZ animation style. And honestly, I felt the presence of CG environments was much less noticeable than in Battle of Gods.

Characters

With such a huge cast, missing DBZ characters stick out like sore thumbs. Both Goten and Trunks are absent from Resurrection ‘F’, as are Buu, Hercule, Yamcha, and Chi-Chi.

I was actually really fine with Goten and Trunks being missing. Their personalities are so big, they would have upstaged the other main characters and introduced an unnecessary childish aspect to the film. It would have been Bio-Broly all over again.

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Image: DragonBallZ.com

The rest of the Z Fighters have ample screen time as they face off against the Frieza Force. I was pleasantly surprised at Tien getting some long-deserved shining moments as well as at the return of Master Roshi in a combat role.

Resurrection ‘F’ brings back newcomers Beerus, God of Destruction, and his handler Whis. While Beerus is reduced to a sideline character (the quarrels of mortals apparently don’t interest him), Whis surprisingly takes on the role of mentor for Goku and Vegeta. Indeed, Whis’ character is expanded in awesome ways and, in the end, he and Beerus fit right in to the DBZ universe (although they still haven’t gotten over their obsession with Earth food).

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Image: DragonBallZ.com

The new character that stood out was Galactic Patrolman Jaco. He was the runaway hit character for me. Not only can he fight well, but he delivers some hilarious lines. In fact, Resurrection ‘F’ had the audience roaring with laughter several times. Most of the jokes deal with the characters pointing out each others’ quirky personalities in a manner similar to Avengers: Age of Ultron. This kind of self-aware comedy might irritate some, but I think it fits into the light-hearted DBZ universe. Fans will love it.

Goku and Vegeta continue their never-ending rivalry as they train under Whis and battle Frieza. The personality clash between Goku’s goofiness and Vegeta’s pride makes for some hilarious situations. Both Saiyans have some new tricks up their sleeves, and some huge secrets from Vegeta’s past are revealed.

Final Thoughts

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ is an excellent DBZ movie. While not as brutally violent as Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan or as unconventional as Battle of GodsResurrection ‘F’ delivers classic DBZ action touched-up with modern technology. If you love the Frieza Saga from the original series, this is one film you won’t want to miss.

The English dub for Resurrection ‘F’ is getting a limited North American theatrical release through August 12! The film was amazing to watch on the big screen. Click here to find a participating theater near you!

Trailer

Dragon Ball Z fans! Are you excited for the epic return of Frieza? Sound off in the comments below!

Edited by: Hannah Wilkes

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About Mason Smith

Mason is a rigger/animator at Triseum Games. He's also a grad student at Texas A&M working on his Master's thesis. He loves talking about animation, watching old Godzilla flicks, listening to 80s music, and drawing cartoons. Bottom text.