Directed by Tadayoshi Yamamuro
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ is the direct follow-up to Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and the 15th film in the series. Series creator Akira Toriyama returned to the franchise with Battle of Gods, making that film and this one actually canon, which none of the prior films have been. He not only supervised this production, but wrote the screenplay as well, which is fantastic.
The subtitle doesn’t bury the lead, the iconic and titular villain, Frieza, is resurrected by the remaining members of his militaristic force. Of course, his first and only priority is to exact revenge on the ‘saiyan monkey’ who defeated him years ago, Goku(Kakarot). Meanwhile, everyone is enjoying peace and quiet on Earth. Goku and Vegeta are, of course, off training on Lord Beerus’ planetoid. When Frieza and his army appear the Z warriors gather once again to defeat the tyrant, but he has been training and has some new tricks up his sleeve…
Having Toriyama take a deeper role in this film has made it leaps and bounds better than Battle of Gods. What that film had going for it was the allure of a new, true installment to the series. Unfortunately, there was a lot of plot holes that audiences had to swallow. Luckily, everything in Resurrection ‘F’ is logical, interconnects past characters and storylines and has the feel of a Z narrative. Now, the fact that Frieza thinks he can actually beat Goku, who has now attained Super Saiyan God status, after only several months of training is absolutely ludicrous, but the story addresses this very well. Also, the humor is present, but not as heavy-handed as it was in Gods. I will say that it was odd and slightly depressing that Trunks, Goten nor Buu make an appearance in the picture, who wouldn’t have wanted to see Gotenks on the big screen duke it out with Frieza.
Of course, one of the key components associated with the franchise is the fighting. As with any of the Z movies, the last half or quarter of the film tends to be just an all-out brawl and ‘F’ is no exception! Seeing Master Roshi bulk up, the famous techniques of all the fighters and adult Gohan go Super Saiyan is always a treat, but the pièce de résistance is Goku and Vegeta mano-a-mano with the villain. Everything about the sequence is stellar. The dialog works so well and the choreography delivers what fans have come to know and love. The sound of each punch or kick just reverberates throughout the theater, making the experience worth every penny. Seeing Goku transform on the big screen is just inspiring! Also, Vegeta has some powerful surprises of his own… The conclusion (no spoilers, promise) is a bit anti-climactic and is fairly predictable, but fans know how these movies end anyways, so it doesn’t detract from the overall experience.
The english voice cast are absolute pros, some such as Sean Schemmel(Goku) and Chris Sabat(Vegeta, Piccolo, Shenron) have been working in the Dragon Ball universe for almost 15 years, and deliver an amazing dub. Frieza is voiced by a new actor, Christopher Ayres. He has been voicing the character since 2010 in the video games and Dragon Ball Kai, so those who are used to the original voice may find this a bit jarring at first. Funimation deserves a lot of credit for assembling such a talented cast and keeping the spirit alive for this property!
This is will be a wonderful, nostalgia-fueled experience for many people. At the screening I attended, there were parents bringing their children to introduce them to the franchise, so bring a friend or family member and make another Z fan. Definitely check this out in theaters! It’s only in select cinemas through August 12, so check Fandango or Fathomevents.com for times and locations.