Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F is for Fine…I Guess
I went to a sold out showing of Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’. The theater was packed to the brim with Dragon Ball fans. It was probably the best part of the entire experience. Just being in a room with that many people, all of whom had grown up on Goku screaming for hours on end, was amazing.
The movie was just okay.
There was a weird opening preshow sequence with a Funimation employee attempting to play on nostalgia by having interviews with the voice actors (which somewhat backfires, considering the voice of Freeza in this film is not the one most people in the audience grew up with) and a painfully long Dragon Ball quiz section, where it becomes clear rather quickly that half of the cast doesn’t know shit about the show they do voices for.
Below is a recap of the film. Spoilers abound, but really, you already know what’s going to happen.
The movie finally starts. We open in some weird, magical land where the is one tree and lots of teddy bears and flying angel things singing a song. I’m thinking this is a trailer for something else until Freeza appears in a cocoon looking like he’s having a horrible time. This is apparently his own Hell.
Moving on. Freeza’s army, now being run by an alien named Sorbet because of course that’s his name, is looking for Namekian dragon balls. He, along with another new alien named Tagoma, decide to go to Earth instead, even though Goku is there and powerful, or something. They instantly convince Pilaf, Mai, and Shu, characters who aren’t really integral to anything but who have already collected the balls, to allow them to make a wish for Freeza’s resurrection. The resurrection of F, if you will. The Dragon brings Freeza back to life in pieces since that’s how he was killed because the Dragon has limitations and such, then they just put him in a healing pod thing and, science, he is back to life. In his first form. With his armor. Science.
Shu sneakily uses the second wish to ask for one million zeni. Sorbet doesn’t murder him for reasons unknown.
This song plays during Freeza’s healing pod science scene, adding both credibility and intensity to the film:
Freeza instantly wants to kill Goku because he has no ability to see more than five feet in front of him. “I’m thinking maybe you just ignore them? Take over other planets and shit?” says a logical Tagoma. He is killed. A cool frog-species solider is almost blown out into space, but he survives, and the audience is extremely happy.
“I was born with a bunch of power, I’ve never trained!” Freeza says to the rest of army he didn’t murder. He says he needs to just train for four months and he can unlock new powers and stuff. Because of trailers, this is already spoiled. He also says he can reach power levels of 1.3 million, which is beyond inconsistent with literally everything, but you know, fuck it.
On Earth, Jaco the Galactic Patrolman (a character introduced in a one-shot manga by Toriyama and then added to the Dragon Ball universe because it’s a giant media monster he can never escape from) arrives to warn everyone of Freeza’s return. Goku and Vegeta, the only two characters who can really do anything anymore, are both on another planet training with Beerus and Whis, poorly named characters introduced in the previous film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, both of whom are far, far stronger than the two Saiyans. None of them know what’s happening on their home world. Bulma attempts to contact Whis by holding up a strawberry flavored desert, because food is the only reason Earth is still in one piece, but he doesn’t answer the…phone call? I don’t know.
Whis mentions his ability to turn back time for absolutely no reason. Everyone in the audience knows he will use this power later.
The most interesting scene in the film occurs when two crooks rob a bank and are stopped by Krillin, who is now a cop. Is this his day job? He rides a futuristic police scooter and doesn’t fly. It’s the best part, by far, and I wanted an entire film about Krillin Cop. It’s a shame it’s only two minutes.
The Z Fighters, called that with absolutely no justification, arrive: Krillin, Gohan, Piccolo, Tien, and Master Roshi. Jaco and Bulma are also there. “I told Yamcha and Chiaotzu to stay behind. They are far too weak for this shit,” Tien says, out loud and straight-faced, to everyone. It’s the funniest joke in the film and was clearly not meant to be. Let that sink in: Master Roshi, the 800 year old grandpa, is here to fight one of the most ruthless aliens in the galaxy, but not Yamcha.
Freeza lands and sends out a million soldiers. For some reason, all The Z Buddies have significant issues warding them off. The fights are fun, full of fan service, and a blast to watch, but Gohan says “I’m kinda outta practice bros,” so I guess that means that suddenly everyone is bad at fighting and Master Roshi is of equal power. Jaco does some combating as well and he is amusing and likable as hell.
The Z Friends beat all the bad people, including another new character, Shisami, who is pointless. Freeza kills all his men for failing him because that’s who he is as a person. He then one-punches Gohan, solidifying that The Z Comrades are worthless. Whis finally gets Bulma’s message and the four of them teleport to Earth to fight Freeza and also eat the strawberry desert.
Freeza changes directly into his final form, skipping 32 episodes, and Goku trounces his ass for fifteen minutes while Vegeta waits his turn, because they discussed that they would take turns fighting Freeza. “lol I trained for a few months monkey person! I have a new form! Let me change into it cause you’re an idiot and don’t know when to deal the fatal blow!” Goku lets him change into his new form, which is just a hideous golden and purple color mix.
“I’ll make it easy for you, it’s Golden Freeza. You can call me Golden Freeza. That’s my name now.”
Goku changes into a Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan, which means his hair is now blue, and the fight continues. Freeza is dumb and wastes all his power cause he didn’t get used to his new form and becomes all weak and shit. He yells a lot and is mad and gets punched in the face and gut several of times. Vegeta becomes upset because he wants his turn, but Goku is all “brah, BRUH, hold on!” Sorbet, the one minion Freeza didn’t kill, shoots Goku with a tiny laser blaster and it nearly kills him, again breaking any and all sense.
But this scene is fine because Science.
Freeza gloats and shit, even though Vegeta is completely fine and standing right there. “Hay buddy, wanna kill Goku for me and join my army that I just annihilated?” asks an entirely serious Freeza. Vegeta floats down like he’s going to, but JK, he totally doesn’t. He also becomes a God Blue Hair Saiyan Guy and punches Freeza about five times, causing him to lose his golden tint. He takes too long to kill him and Freeza blows up Earth, taking five seconds instead of five episodes.
Everyone dies. Except Beerus, Gohan, Piccolo, Tien, Master Roshi, Goku, Whis, Bulma, and Jaco. So no one important dies except Vegeta.
“Hay guys I have that time thing I can do,” says Whis to a groaning audience. He then sets back the clock three minutes, because that exact number is important, and then Goku just blows Freeza away, again. Vegeta is mad and the laughter ensues. Goku and Vegeta agree that working together, although it would make them able to defeat any and all enemies, is dumb and not fun because Saiyan brains are small I guess.
Freeza goes back to his own personal Hell in a cocoon surrounded by teddy bears and angels. The end.
I left the movie somewhat entertained and pretty let down. The fights are fun, mostly, and use a lot of actual martial arts, not just fast punching and then beams for days. The Z Crew gets a small chance to shine, God Super Saiyan thing is cool, Freeza is the most memorable villain of the series and although the voice is not the one I liked, he’s still a joy to watch.
But there are so many inconsistencies with power levels, the music is forgettable or outright laughable, a lot of jokes didn’t land at all, new characters are mostly pointless from the outset (except for Jaco, who is a welcome addition), the plot is rushed and sloppy, and true to form, no one matters except Goku. It’s fine, he’s the hero, I understand the appeal. But it sure would be nice if someone else, anyone else, did anything of value. They didn’t even let Vegeta have the Freeza kill! He was so close.
The Dragon Ball films have never really been all that great, minus maybe the first three when no one could go Super Saiyan yet and battles didn’t always depend on who could scream louder and power up more. Two of those films end with Goku using a Spirit Bomb, but at least that kind of required other people. Those also had interesting side characters or minions who added just a little bit more flair to the picture.
However, the end credits, which literally just give you the spark notes of the film you just watched with video clips, has the song “Pledge of Z”, which is as good as it sounds, playing over it. So you know, at least there’s that. The English version’s lyrics are magical, but without subtitles they are impossible to understand. Instead, treat yourself to the wonders of the Japanese music video.
I pledge allegiance to the Z.