Saturday, October 10, 2015

DragonBall Z: Resurrection 'F'

  Well if you're even remotely interested in Resurrection 'F' and haven't seen Battle of Gods yet, I recommend you do so. I mean, it's not essential in any significant way but they feel like decent companion pieces to each other. If you're on the fence about Battle' still, check out my review here, and you can get a feel for not only my opinion of the movie, but also gauge my love of the show against yours to see if these movies are for you. Being a fan is pretty essential to enjoying these movies. They really are made for the longtime devotees of the franchise.

  Resurrection 'F' is a massive glowing energy ball of fun, and every bit as intense. It's a fairly simple and straightforward story, nothing fancy, but the movie really is rather unconcerned with a compelling story, and more concerned with just... lots and lots of fighting. That's right, this is a big action showcase. The story bobs and weaves to make sure just about everyone gets a decent fight in there. Even Master Roshi and Krillin. Though there's still a few familiar faces that were sorely missed. Buu, Yamcha, Hercule, Trunks and Goten just to name a few. Granted, their absence was explained away (all except for Buu... What the heck?) and I understand that every movie can't be a big cast reunion like Battle of Gods, but still.

  Regardless, what Resurrection 'F' sets out to do is show off some top shelf animation through endless fight scenes and world wrecking action set pieces. Nothing to complain about there. In fact, I found my mouth agape more than once. The animation on the fight scenes here were incredibly impressive. I was shocked. I thought the last movie was great in that regard, but this one blows it out of the water. Basically, Frieza's army or whatever decides that they can't function without him, or something, and they collect the dragon balls on Earth to resurrect him. Frieza then decides to actually train a bit, for the first time in his life apparently, so he can exact revenge on Goku.

  Fairly standard stuff all things considered, and the movie, plot and character-wise isn't anything super-special either. But it's never a bad time when Goku and Vegeta show up to kick some ass. Their dynamic is always a delight to watch- and this is no different. The dialog is well written, as well as the humor overall. Which is admittedly much more low key this time as opposed to the rather lighthearted and comedic Battle of Gods. This is a fair bit darker and more serious. It only clocks in at a breezy 90 minutes, and while not unusual for one of the movies- feels really short by DBZ standards, especially when I'm used to binge watching enough episodes to fill up a couple hours or more.

  After Frieza shows up with his army on Earth, looking for Goku, a bunch of the guys band together to hold them off until Goku and Vegeta return from a training session with Whis, Beerus' personal attendant. Their training with Whis is really fun to watch and a neat touch that I didn't expect. It was also nice to see Beerus return as an ally more or less. I like his character and would definitely like to see more of him and Whis in the future. What more is there to say? Frieza get's his in a typically spectacular fashion, limits are pushed, punches are thrown, shit gets blown up real good.

  I think my only complaints are that it doesn't do more with the material, it has no ambitions to add to the lore of DBZ beyond just another big fight. The whole thing went down in no time at all, and that's that. As a result it's hard to feel invested in the story, even as basic as it is. For one, Goku's fought and defeated this guy before. We're only just barely convinced that he's much of a new threat, especially since Goku has fried much bigger fish since Frieza was in the picture. So, the danger isn't as palpable as it was when say... Beerus showed up in the previous movie.

  Resurrection 'F' doesn't bother to add any real significant or interesting characters to the mix. Some old and boring looking henchmen of Frieza's, and a quirky but altogether unnecessary space cop or something. In stark contrast to Battle of Gods, which gave us Beerus- who was and is a great character. Resurrection 'F' feels like it's treading water and hitting familiar beats. I could almost suggest you pass on this one if it wasn't for the mind blowingly cool fight sequences, the razor sharp wit, and some well written humor. Tonally and content-wise, it's still very satisfying regardless of what it doesn't do.

   At the end of the day, it's just a compact and streamlined DBZ arc. It's essential viewing for the fights alone, but since when is that anything but a real treat? I had a lot of fun with this one. I'll never turn down any adventure with these guys (so long as creator Akira Toriyama is involved with it) because they're like old pals. You never get to see enough of them! Resurrection 'F' might not be anything more than nostalgic Saturday afternoon fare, but it's great nostalgic Saturday afternoon fare!

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