Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Superhero Media: Dragonball Z Resurrection 'F'

I really enjoyed this film at the cinema, I enjoyed it less the second time around, but I still feel that Resurrection 'F' is one of the best Dragonball Z films in the, very bloated, catalogue. The set up is pretty nifty, with their empire collapsing, the remains of the Frieza Force decide to risk a trip to Earth in order to use the Dragonballs to revive their fallen leader. The now child-aged Emperor Pilaf, Mai and Shou are bullied into helping Sorbet and a handful of Frieza soldiers collect the balls and bring the chunks of Cyborg Frieza (that Future Trunks left) back to life. Seeking revenge, Frieza trains himself to a level beyond anything the Z Warriors have seen before. Bringing his soldiers to Earth, Frieza keeps the Z Warriors (Gohan, Piccolo, Tien, Roshi and Krillin) battling his soldiers until Goku and Vegeta come back from training with Whis and beat the dictator down. Also there's some time travel and a space cop. 

Many of the elements that can be found in Resurrection 'F' are ones I like to see and, frankly, don't see enough in Dragonball; recurring villains, team fights and the action not being focused on how powerful Goku is are all good elements. Freiza has always been one of the best DB villains, he's no King Piccolo or Doctor Wheelo, but he's way better than any version of Buu and seeing him grandstand, plot and boast really makes him feel like a threat once again. Seeing the team of Z Warriors battle the soldiers is amazing, the fights move fluidly and each character gets to do their own thing. There are some fun pop culture references, like a Maximum the Hormone song and a cameo by one of Team Four Star (I forget which one). Once Goku goes "Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan" and "Golden Frieza" is revealed, the film goes downhill and I lose interest quickly.

There are problems with Resurrection 'F', the usual DBZ misogyny with Android 18 not getting to go to the fight, despite being stronger than Krillin, because she needs to stay at home and look after the kid. Gohan can longer go Ascended Super Saiyan and seems to have lost his Ultimate/Mystic power-up. Rebirth of Fusion, another good DBZ film, is clearly rendered non-canon, twice and Gotenks is not mentioned. There's a plot thread about Frieza looking for Future Trunks that goes nowhere and no one seems to remember that pretty much every member of the team is stronger than when they last fought Frieza. Maybe Krillin has some major PTSD, but it feels like a gap in the writing. Problems aside, Resurrection 'F' is a good take on DBZ and well worth a watch for the first half, improved animation and better voice work than most of the series got.

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