This past weekend was the Red Carpet Event and Premier of Fukkatsu No ‘F’ (Resurrection ‘F’) at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles.
Thank you to FUNimation for the unique opportunity and invitation to watch the 19th DBZ animated film for the first time!
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
Dragon Ball Z spans a history dating back more than 20 years, and with that comes endless character development, unusual characters, unexpected plot twists, and countless heart-felt moments. Dragon Ball Z: Fukkatsu No ‘F’ (Resurrection ‘F’ in English) does all of this and more in what will surely be an experience you shall not forget in the theaters this summer.
Fans of the long-running series will surely remember the moment they fell in love with it, whether that be from the original Dragon Ball manga, or the sequel anime series that followed. Regardless of when it happened for you specifically, there is bound to be a single moment or even several in Resurrection ‘F’ that will bring you back.
From original series creator Akira Toriyama, Resurrection ‘F’ returns to its Dragon Ball roots with well-written dialogue, laugh-out-loud humor, and epic fight sequences that rival any in the previous 18 films or 280+ episodes as some of the best and visually pleasing you have ever seen.
The plot of the film centers around Frieza’s revival from what remains of his armies (his weaker third string army), being brought back to life through the use of the Dragon Balls, a portion of the overall plot that most fans were familiar with. As a matter of fact, that is the plot. There really is nothing more to say about it. But this is not at all a bad thing (unless you really want a larger plot, then maybe it is), as the movie is intended to bring about the resurrection of Frieza, and the return to one of the most climactic battles in all of anime history; Goku versus Frieza (and then Vegeta).
Perhaps the most interesting bit about the film is Frieza’s new “Golden” form, along with Goku’s ascension beyond a Saiyan God into the blue-haired Super Saiyan we have been teased with here and there online.
Here’s a Teaser to get you started:
PLOT – (skip past this section if you do not want any portion of the film spoiled for you)
During the commotion stirred up by Frieza’s arrival to earth, Bulma is met by Akira Toriyama’s lead in his side-manga project, Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. Jaco apparently has a relationship with Capsule Corp and their technology as they have previously met in the manga series. Bulma shares that Vegeta and Goku are both off training with Whis in a far away place to master the Saiyan God transformation, leaving Krillin, Piccolo and Gohan to defend earth in the Saiyan’s absence. Unfortunately for Gohan, his Super Saiyan form is far too weak as he has spent the past several years studying the books and ignoring any and all training (we assume Gohan is about as strong as Goku was back when he fought Frieza on Namek).
Frieza has been training relentlessly for the past six months since his revival and brought with him an army that is 1,000 strong, resulting in Krillin, Gohan, and Piccolo requesting the help of the other Z Fighters that include Tien, Master Roshi and… that’s it. According to Tien, Yamcha and Chiaotzu chose to sit this one out, as they felt they would only be in the way, and thus are not in the film at all. Gohan said that he rather had not tell Trunks and Goten about the impending danger, assuming that the two pint-sized Super Saiyans would do something brash without thinking, and put all their lives in danger. No, Trunks and Goten do not even make a single appearance in the film outside of this one reference from Gohan and one small nod from Emperor Pilaf’s female right-hand, Mai. I assume this was done to keep the defeat of Frieza’s henchmen difficult for the Z fighters, since a Super Saiyan fusion into Gotenks would have surely wiped them all out rather quickly, if of course the thick-headed Saiyan hybrids did not end up goofing off too much.
Each of the Z Fighters (Jaco included) take on a quota of about 170 fighters between them, though at times it seemed the army may have been too much to handle, they make it out victorious standing before Frieza himself, surrounded by unconscious bodies. Frieza is disappointed in the low levels of strength of this men, and kills them all.
Gohan shows off his Super Saiyan skills, or lack thereof, much to the surprise of Frieza (who was not aware Gohan was a Super Saiyan). Frieza’s surprise quickly fades and turns into a cocky smirk, just before showing off his newly acquire strength and nearly kills Gohan with a single blow, if not for the Senzu Beans.
Growing tired of waiting, Frieza is just about ready to blow up the earth with Bills (Beerus), Whis, Vegeta, and Goku show up to intervene (Bulma had begged Whis to show up, bribing him with cake and ice cream). Frieza is shocked and terrified to see the God of Destruction, and begs him not to get in the way of his revenge. Beerus states that he takes no sides and will allow him to kill everyone if Frieza chooses, though Beerus promises to save only Bulma so she can continue to make yummy earth foods for Whis and himself.
Goku and Frieza begin to do battle, each holding back their new forms. Goku is coaxed into showing his first, and goes on to say his new blue-haired form is what happens when you power-up to a Super Saiyan while in the Super Saiyan God form. Frieza does not seem all too impressed and transforms himself into what he calls “Golden Frieza”, a color specifically chosen to emulate the gold form of the Super Saiyan transformation (which implies that perhaps Frieza’s form and appearance can be manipulated and altered by his own preferences).
Frieza has the upper-hand and begins to beat Goku at nearly every turn, making the Super Saiyan God form seem almost like it was not enough. Goku is then interrupted by Vegeta who is eager to fight. The two of them begin to go at it and Frieza mistakes Vegeta and Goku’s battle as Vegeta perhaps maintaining loyalty. Moments later, Goku is caught off guard by the last of Frieza’s army, who shoots him in the back, nearly killing him. Frieza tells Vegeta that should he kill Goku, he will spare him and make him a leader in his army during their galactic and universal dominance. Vegeta seems to hesitate, before claiming that he is not as forgiving as Goku, and will avenge his home world and his people by killing Frieza. Vegeta then powers up to a Super Saiyan God and crushes Frieza, showing that perhaps he has surpassed Goku as a blue-haired Super Saiyan.
In a last-ditch effort to get revenge, Frieza destroys the earth and kills all of its inhabitants, save for Beerus, Whis, and the Z Fighters. Goku, who has recovered through the last remaining Senzu Bean, is furious at himself for allowing this to happen (being too merciful is perhaps Goku’s greatest weakness). Whis, saying he can turn back time three whole minutes, will do so if Goku would like a do-over. Goku states he would, and Whis does so moments before Frieza blows up earth. Goku jumps in the middle of Vegeta’s battle, and fires a massive Kamehameha finally killing Frieza once and for all.
FUN FACT: Frieza is now the third character to be killed by Goku (the other two were Kid Buu with the Spirit Bomb, and Babidi’s warrior Yakon).
Frieza is sent to hell where he is to be bound and hung in a tree in the middle of a field of flowers surrounded by stuffed animals and fairies who sing and dance and play music for all eternity.
PLOT (and spoilers) END
Resurrection ‘F’ is a great time at the theaters. More specifically, it’s just a great time in general. If you are an anime fan, or a Dragon Ball fan, there is plenty to enjoy here. But perhaps what is most intriguing about the film is the overall cinematic experience. We as moviegoers rarely get the opportunity to feel something so visually stimulating and theatrically fresh that this film begs your audience. Not a fan of anime? Understandable. Don’t know the plot of the series? Fair enough.
This film could have maybe done a bit better with the back story, sure. But if you are the type of person who starts the Lord of the Rings trilogy with Return of the King and asks over 9,000 questions throughout the whole movie, then maybe skip this one. But if you are not, and if you have the slightest idea of what’s going on, or if you do not but just really want to experience something that movie theaters seem to be absent of, you definitely need to see Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ (Fukkatsu no ‘F’). Just be aware you have a little time before the movie debuts this summer, so try to catch up on the previous 18 animated films or 119 episodes leading up to Frieza’s demise by the hands of Future Trunks. You’ll be glad you did. Or you won’t. And if not, we can’t be friends.
FINAL SCORE: 4.5/5