Review of Dragonball Z: Resurrection F (Dub)

I should know by now that nostalgia always wins.

It’s a Wednesday night, not the usual time when people are racing to the theater, but still we arrive nearly an hour early to buy tickets. I tell my husband it’s so we can grab a drink and relax before the movie but really I’m nervous that it will be sold out.

That is crazy, my brain reminds me, after all its Wednesday and this is an anime movie. Just be happy if there are other people in the theater with you.

And yet, a half hour before the movie starts the ticket lines start getting longer and more and more people in DBZ shirts are mingling outside the theater. I start to get nervous and urge my husband to drop the leftover food in the car while I go to save seats. Walking into the theater the air shifts and I’m met with a packed house. It’s a feeling I can’t remember having since going to the midnight showing of The Avengers. Being surrounded by fans, all jittering with excitement. For the next hour and a half we laugh at all the same inside jokes, cheer at gorgeous fights scenes, and spend some time with our old friends. My husband comes back and informs me that the movie sold out.

It was almost a serial moment for me, being in a movie theater and watching the latest DBZ film. My twelve-year-old self would have had a heart attack. I still might have had a minor one. No doubt this year has been a great one for Dragonballz fans, but let me try to reign in some of that excitement and give an honest to goodness review of the movie.

Well- I did say try.

The Story:

I won’t lie the plot of the movie was not a surprise to me. Since the official release in April of this year I had been reading plenty of summaries and reviews regarding it. Dragonballz movies are  notorious for following a specific formula; villain arrives- Goku is late to the fight – Earth is threatened – Heroes win! This movie follows the formula exactly but managed to acknowledge those facts with some humor. The story was a perfect blend of Toriyama’s humor with the all action of the older movies like Lord Slug and Revenge of Cooler.

This works out easily enough because Freiza is the movie’s villain. The audience doesn’t need much of an introduction to him like we have seen with past movies, nor do we need a reason for his evilness. This frees up extra time for the story to focus on old characters we love and  fleshing out some of the more minor characters. Of note was Lord Beerus and Whis, who were both enjoyable in Battle of the Gods but in this movie I have to admit my soft spot for them grew even more. Maybe it was because this time they weren’t in the spot of the “villain” and their grey-morals were refreshing to a show that has such distinct lines of good vs evil.

Like the movies of old school this one doesn’t really fit into any particular timeline- or even Canon. If you’re trying to do all the math regarding how DragonballSuper, this movie, and the end of the Manga all fit in the same time frame. Stop. All fans need to know is that it takes place after Battle of the Gods. Resurrection does have some gaping holes, but they are a necessity for a movie that is trying to appeal to older fans by highlighting other characters such as Tien, Krillin, and even Master Roshi.

 

Animation:

Top notch animation for the film was one of the most enduring features. The only word I can think of in regards to it is “shiny” and no, not in the Super Saiyan glow kind of way. Clean lines and excellent coloring made even the darkest scenes stand out.

It is perfectly clear that the staff of the movie wanted to make the fight scenes memorable, and distinguish it from the show. In this case it does an excellent job, showing the characters using actual martial arts instead of the usual blurred-out punches and kicks. Where the animation really escalates though is in the climatic fight scene between Goku and Freiza. It is a perfect tease of panning between those watching the fight from afar and giving the audience an up close look at the action.

The one thing that seemed to take away from the film was the attempt to integrate CG among the animation. At some moments it enhanced the environment surrounding the characters while other times it fell less then flat. The good news is these brief stints of 3D didn’t last long before moving back to the usual style.

 

Dub: 

Hearing the classic English voices of Chris Ayres (Freiza), Sean Schemmel (Goku), and Christopher Sabat (Vegeta) will make fans weep tears of nostalgia. Let’s be honest, if you are watching the movie you’re there to hear the voices of all those classic characters, considering the last time the cast did anything together was Battle of the Gods and before that, well…

Do not worry fans, because this piece delivers.  Ayres is masterful in his projection of Freiza, who he describes as a character who, “Feels like he’s the smartest guy in the room.” While Schemmel forever makes the perfect Goku. Managing to be both goofy and masculine when the time calls for it.

Christopher Sabat is a stand out as he continues to hold Vegeta between the land of comedic gold and fiery action. Vegeta was once a character who only managed to get a few angry lines per-movie, but the last film proved that he could be just as ridiculous as the rest of the cast (if not more so.)I hesitate to say that it sometimes played off as “out of character,” but in Resurrection F Vegeta delivered some of the best lines and still managed to be the same scowling Prince we all know and love.

It’s amazing to see how much the dub for the show has changed throughout the years. Remember the old movies? Remember how they used background music from Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin to set the mood? Well those are  (sadly) lacking in this movie but don’t worry there still is a awesome rock ballad included in the movie. It is ridiculously catchy.

Overall: B+

I’d recommend seeing the movie to any and all fans before it leaves theaters on August 12. The experience alone is worth it and already the film has drawn in more money then expected; ranking in the Top Ten throughout the week. Though I recommend watching Battle of the Gods before hand. As far as anime movies go, this once was solid with a perfect blend of comedy and action that is sure to entertain all viewers.

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