We must be living in some sort of golden age to be getting another Dragon Ball Z movie with Akira Toriyama being behind it no less. I mean “Battle of Gods” just released last year and we already get another DBZ film in “Dragon Ball Z Resurrection F“. Now to be honest I never was a real Dragon Ball fan at all. Sure I watched episodes on Toonami when I was a kid but I don’t hold it as close to my heart as others who grew up with it. That being said I really loved this movie, maybe not as much its predecessor but I’ll be sure to get into that later. I tried watching Kai when it aired but even with the cleaned up plot lines I still couldn’t really get into it, until these movies. And for what seemed like a dying franchise to me, has turned into something new and fresh.
Right off the bat, so many things are going on coming from the fallout of “Battle of Gods”. Goku and Vegeta are training with Whis (probably the most powerful being in the universe). Frieza is being brought back to life by the dragon balls and is serious about taking revenge on the saiyans. Meanwhile on earth the whole gang is having to react to Frieza’s “invasion” until Goku and Vegeta arrive back. So many things going on and never does it feel cramped or rushed.
Now when I look at these new Dragon Ball movies I feel that this is the way that Dragon Ball Z specifically, needs to be experienced in. Theres just something about watching these characters in a movie setting that makes everything better. Since it’s a movie version there really isn’t much time for stupid bullshit waiting around, and I love that! For example, the first time Goku goes “SuperSaiyan God SuperSaiyan” (yeah I know it’s a mouthful but that’s what it’s called) the only explanation we get is that it’s an extension of SuperSaiyan God, and that’s all I need. I don’t need to watch a scene of him unlocking it or see him working towards it, its freaking Goku. I know he’s always training and so if he shows up with a new power, it seems rather obvious to me and doesn’t really need an explanation.
Frieza on the other hand does get a little more explanation in his power boost since they have to make it believable that he can go toe-to-toe with current strength Goku. And it’s handled pretty well. It really makes sense to Frieza’s character that he never would have trained a day in his life. And now that he is training, he can reach a power level comparable to Goku. This is the part honestly I had the most trouble with coming in to the movie, because I mean come on, Goku beat Frieza like a million episodes ago and has only gotten stronger. But nope, turns out that Frieza just needed to swallow his pride and train for a few months to reach a level Goku had to train for years to obtain. This also makes Frieza’s terror seem somewhat revitalized again because he has so much raw potential that he can catch up to Goku in such little time. and even though towards the end it was still clear that Goku was stronger than him, it didn’t make his anger and desperation any less potent to the movies atmosphere, even up until his final moments.
He’s cocky and boastful and isn’t afraid to make jokes that other people wouldn’t like. He’s very animated as a character and that makes watching him so good. This was a huge part that needed to get right because for a good chunk of the movie Frieza has to carry it until Goku and Vegeta show up.
But sadly he doesn’t get enough time to carry the story as much as he’s able to do because of the Z fighters battle. And that battle was the most low point the movie had. This part was the padding of the movie that felt like I was back in the Dragon Ball Z television show. I mean Dragon Ball has always sort of held Goku away somehow until the last-minute, but now its starting to get old. I honestly think if the character wasn’t Frieza waiting for Goku I would have been severely bored until he showed up. Which is sad because “Battle of Gods” managed to get away from adding pointless filler fight scenes. Instead they focused on developing Beerus and making his interactions with the cast seem like it was worth caring about even though it wasn’t the main thing you wanted to see. And seeing that “Resurrection F” went back to the TV show formula, makes me a little pissed.
Literally the only thing keeping those scenes from being boring was having the new character Jaco be involved in the battle. As soon as he comes to earth he seems like he’ll just be a minor character but he sticks around for the whole movie. And whether he’s cracking jokes, being weird, or helping the Z fighters fight, every time he’s on-screen, he makes it fun. And fun is the main thing that I want when seeing Dragon Ball Z. Hopefully Jaco will show up in future installments because he’s a hoot and he made the scenes where I was waiting for Goku to show up more bearable.
The only other thing that was enjoyable about these scenes were the little throw backs when characters would use their signature attack. If anything felt like pandering in the show that was it. Just the need to throw in that many characters felt off to me. I know its Goku’s nature to be away training, but jeez can’t he just be there from the start at least once? Then we wouldn’t have to deal with all these background characters for so much of the movie. I’m not saying I don’t like Master Roshi, but I’d choose Goku over him any day.
Maybe if Lord Beerus were around during these scenes to be making jokes through out it would have made it better in someway. Because they certainly do that in the Goku v. Frieza battle. Having them standing there seems natural and adds a funny dynamic to everything that’s going in, even if it involves a maniacal Frieza. Their demeanor during this whole confrontation really makes me realize what this movie is as a whole. Even though its played as a giant battle with Frieza, it’s still just a calm before the storm. This battle is only leading up to something greater. And the film hints at that all the way through. Its made obvious that this isn’t our heroes limit, and it brings room for growth back into the Dragon Ball universe. Because now I know that if Beerus or Whis ever get astonished by something, shit is for real, and just knowing that possibility excites me.
Seeing that this is a film at the end of a long list of content for Dragon Ball, the movie can’t help but bring up things that reference other things that happened in past installments. While it may seem like fan pandering at the start, it feels just so natural that it doesn’t really ruin whats going on in the context of the movie. Never was I distracted by feats of the past because the movie is keeping you extremely invested in whats going on now. The only exception to this is probably back to the Z fighters section of the movie. Sure they acknowledge past happenings and honestly that’s sort of how people talk. When things happen to you that remind you of something else, you bring it up. That’s the same thing going on here.
Another problem with having characters like these ones who have been around so long is that they start to get stale. Everything they do becomes predictable and it can make the story stagnant. But with the previous additions of Beerus and Whis as mentors to both Goku and Vegeta, they’re bringing up issues that have plagued their characters since day one. Whether it be Vegeta thinking too much and being too tense, or Goku being too compassionate and cocky, all that is brought up in this movie and played out to where it actually turns into character growth. And anything that can show character growth after how many years deserves a fair amount of credit. However no matter how much they seem to change, Goku and Vegeta still refuse to team up together. “sigh” I guess they’ll get there eventually.
So while for the most part “Dragon Ball Z Resurrection F” was enjoyable, it still had some noticeable hiccups through out its run to make me walk away with a rather varied opinion. And honestly I would rate “Battle of Gods” higher than I do this one. But I will gladly take what I got from this movie and sure hope that when they go into future installments they get rid of a few glaring issues. But seeing that its progressing the universe of Dragon Ball in an interesting way I can’t be too hard on it. I mean come on that insert Frieza song is enough to give this movie two thumbs up.