If you’ve got even the slightest bit of knowledge on anime, manga, or Japanese pop-culture in general, then the name of Dragon Ball Z (also affectionately known as DBZ to many fans) will no doubt be familiar.
Having prevailed for so many years and possessing such a rich history and immense amount of lore, deciding what the ‘best’ story arc of DBZ is highly debatable. But one of the first major plot points is definitely when protagonist, Son Goku and his friends took on the nasty alien tyrant, Frieza.
More than 20 years later, Toei Animation and series creator, Akira Toriyama, have worked together again to release Dragon Ball Z Resurrection ‘F’, the 19th DBZ movie and sequel to 2013’s Battle of Gods, featuring none other than the resurrection of the purple-and-white baddie himself.
We were fortunate enough to be invited to catch a sneak preview of the movie and this will be a spoiler-free review.
Remnants of the once-mighty army of Frieza, now led by an alien named Sorbet, finally manage to find the 7 Dragon Balls to revive their master.
Pieced back together and restored, the furious Frieza decides to train himself for the first time in his life after hearing of Son Goku’s many victories over much more powerful foes over the years, and plots his revenge.
6 months later, Frieza invades the planet earth with renewed power and a massive new army. It’s up to the heroes, the Z Fighters, to hold the line while waiting for their strongest warriors, Goku and Vegeta, to come to the rescue. But will they be able to defeat this mighty foe for the second time?
For both being the 2nd canonical movie in the series’ story and the return of a classic villain, to say this has hit fans with Kamehameha-sized waves of nostalgia would be a massive understatement.
DBZ has long been both praised and parodied for its long and extensive fight scenes, and fans of these will certainly not be disappointed with massive scaled, non-stop action.
The animation was a well-blended mixture of 2D and 3D techniques, which gave the movie a slick, modern polish.
Lots of great nods and treats were given to fans of the series. Many often-underused characters got their chance to participate in major fights and shine, the bantering was hilarious in that trademark Toriyama-style (especially between Goku and Vegeta), and there was even a quick, cheeky cameo from a particular famous pirate-manga!
Of course, seeing Frieza back in action and voiced once again by his original actor, Ryusei Nakao, was an absolute blast (no pun intended). With his vocal swagger sounding just as fresh as he did over 20 years ago, it was clear that Nakao was relishing this opportunity at reprising one of his classic characters, delivering every line with a level of gusto befitting of an outer space tyrant.
While the movie’s blazing speed helped usher it along to its main event quickly, I felt it was this was also its biggest drawback.
Character development was scarce for just about everyone, with people dropping in at random and lots of names being dropped left and right. It’s highly advisable to have at least, a minimum knowledge on DBZ before watching, or you’re going to be a bit lost.
You will be handed the A2 Movie Poster when you watch it in the first week
A cool exclusive clear file you can get by catching the film within the second week!
Major events and plot points were also rushed out far too quickly with little to no build up to them. While this might have helped the movie get to the ‘good stuff’ faster, I felt it also robbed many moments of any dramatic value they could, or were supposed to have.
This unfortunately had a fairly significant impact on my enjoyment of the movie, as I found myself feeling a little underwhelmed during times when I should’ve been blown away.
Cute ‘Evolution Straps’ that can be obtained by watching the movie from the 3rd week
Overall, the movie was still a harmless and enjoyable outing, with the overall experience definitely being saved by the injections of comedy and the massive amounts of nostalgia.
For any DBZ veterans and newbies alike wanting to ride on the renaissance of new media; especially with the recent announcement of the new series; this is still a decently-fun ride.
Check out the trailer for the movie:
Special thanks to ODEX for the invite!
Dragon Ball Z Resurrection ‘F’ airs in Golden Village cinemas this 7th May 2015. Get your tickets here!