Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' full movie review - What was, will never be again; the sad reality. A Dragonball Z review.
There was once a time where Dragonball Z was a respected, quality anime that told the story of a group of intrepid young heroes who fought valiantly together to defend the earth and the galaxy from all manner of evil and malicious creatures.
There was also a time where the story actually carried some sort of weight and relevance to it, as well as sense, where the stakes were high and the consequences of failure were real. This was probably during the time when the author actually had some conviction behind his artistic vision and was passionate about the work that he was creating. Well, I am happy to report that as of this very moment, the spirit and imagination that was once the driving force of Dragonball Z has officially died; brutalized by the machinations of the corporate super giant that has become the anime's franchise.
First and foremost, the story. The chapter is basically a follow-up of the events from the previous film and is set several years after the drama of Battle of Gods, in which Goku and his friends met and fought the boorish God of Destruction, Beerus, and his equally flamboyant yet uninteresting assistant Whis. Here we are taken to a fantastical place, where we find the Z-fighters' old nemesis, Frieza, serving his sentence out in earth hell surrounded by stuffed bears, unicorns, and all sorts of other cute and fluffy things.
And right there, in that very scene, you realize something is seriously wrong with this movie. You find out as the movie is going that since his death, Frieza's Empire has started to crumble, and a couple of his henchmen from some branch of his organization have this ingenious idea of bringing their master back to life. What follows from that point onwards is a series of ludicrous events that is written in the most contrived and forced way possible by the author, where everything just so happens to work out for the villains at these key moments, while also setting up for the hero's final battle at the end of the film. Frieza's resurrection and power up to match the Z-fighters makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, which makes for a very choppy start to the movie, the way the eventual confrontation between the heroes and villains is reached lacks any real urgency or drama like in the previous films, and the resolution at the end of the film was so unnatural, it boggles the mind how this movie actually made theaters in the first place. To sum it all up, there was no real purpose to the film, other than to glorify the two main heroes, Goku and Vegeta, write the story in such a way that it makes all the other elements appear relevant, while in reality they actually did nothing to service the plot, and recycle old concepts from the previous films to attract old fans to watch it. It's almost like the film was inspired by all the bad fan- fictions in the world, where the main characters are made to be overpowered, the villain is made overpowered for plot-related reasons, and all the other characters are reduced to mere cannon fodder or are just sitting on the sidelines eating ice cream like jerks until their presence is required. And that leads me directly into my second point: the characters. While most of them have remained relatively unchanged, after getting to about halfway through the movie, you have to wonder to yourself: 'what use can all of these characters possibly have to the film, other than to fill in the roles of comic relief and bodies to throw at the bad guys, until the real heroes eventually show up to handle the boss?' When you come to familiarize yourself with the cast and their strengths from the series, and you compare them to what they are in the movie, it is incredibly difficult to ignore the amount of changes (or lack of changes) that have occurred between both medias. This then leads into my third point: animation quality. The movie suffers from the exact same symptoms as the movie Battle of Gods before it, and that is lackluster 2D animation fused with 3D animation. On the surface, the characters look clean and colorful, with perfectly refined line art to fit into a wide screen. Now while some people will buy this illusion and view it as some otherworldly feat of human perseverance in the art of animation, it is hardly impressive. The instances where 3D is actually taking place in Revival of F resembles graphics and clips taken straight from an old Playstation 2 game of the same name, while the extras in the background are as notably 3D as they are used in the movie 'Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas', and that was made over a decade ago. What's more, not only does the 3D look bad, but the 2D animation looks as cheap as the quality used to make a One Piece filler episode. This explains why all fight sequences that take place in the form of 2D animation look so stiff and rigid. No effort has been put into making this movie at the same level of quality as Dragonball Z's earliest films, such as Cooler's Revenge and Lord Slug. Now while it looks like I absolutely hate this movie, the reality is that I don't. While not perfect, it does have its moments and it is at least enjoyable as a popcorn action flick. However, these elements in no way make up for the hour or so I had to sit through watching this movie, and only received a monetary amount of satisfaction as a result. I'm finding the more I talk about this film, the more disappointed I get, and the more annoyance I develop at the realization that the series started going downhill right after the Cell Games Saga. I love Dragonball Z. I just hate seeing what it has become.