Dagon Ball Z returns with a new feature-film production: Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F. The film is the 19th in the long-running film franchise, following the anime series and the original manga by Akira Toriyama. This production is the second in the series which features a original story created by manga artist Toriyama, the original creator of Dragon Ball Z (Battle of Gods being the first produced with an original story by Toriyama). The film was a big success in Japan and was the first anime film to ever be released in IMAX 3D.
The story focuses upon the resurrection of Dragon Ball Z villain Frieza. With some of the members of Frieza's army still around, the dragon balls are summoned and are used to successfully bring back Frieza from the dead. Though his body is no longer in-tact so reconstruction has to be done to bring him back completely. With Frieza back, the old bandwagon of Frieza baddies returns.
Goku, Vegeta, and the others must come together once more to face off against Frieza and save the world from his destructive force. The army of Frieza is gathered and a battle once again ensues over the fate of the world. Goku and Vegeta have both trained and are now even more powerful than ever before and both face-off against Frieza while Gohan, Piccolo, Krillin, Master Roshi, and others team-up to help defeat the army.
Resurrection F features some well-done action sequences and is a well-produced Dragon Ball Z feature. The quality of the production is noteworthy. The animation is excellent throughout and has a sleek production quality as well. The effort is certainly successful on the production end. In terms of the quality of the animation, Resurrection F succeeds and is quite impressive aesthetically. The animators who worked on this film did a stunning job.
The original score for the film was composed by Norihito Sumitomo. The music by Sumitomo is effective and adds to the success of the action-packed sequences. The music works well with the film and is a nice aspect of the production.
Unfortunately, despite the involvement of the creator, Akira Toriyama, the story is underwhelming and disappointing. Though Resurrection F is better than some of the weaker Dragon Ball Z films, this is not one of the best in the series and it doesn't spend enough time with the original core cast of characters. Too much time is spent on the resurrection of Frieza and the concluding battle with Goku and Vegeta. Supporting characters from the series aren't given as much time to shine in the story. The film feels rushed at times and is too-short. The story isn't as strong as one would hope for given the creator's involvement.
Fans of DBZ will appreciate the action-packed sequences in the second half of the film. This is a well directed film. Director Tadayoshi Yamamuro makes his feature-film directing debut after working as an animator and animation director on a number of high-profile series and films. Overall, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F succeeds somewhat as an action-packed return to the popular franchise. The directing is strong, the animation is high-quality, and the production is effective for the most part. Though the film is not as strong as it could have been, fans will be pleased to revisit the franchise.
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F arrives on Blu-ray from Funimation Entertainment with a strong presentation. The 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoded image is superb with strong clarity and color reproduction. The vibrant presentation presents the high-quality animation quite well. The release does have some minor banding. The release isn't perfect but it's still quite strong.
Please Note: Unfortunately, Funimation has not included a 3D Blu-ray presentation of the film.
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F contains both English and Japanese 5.1 Dolby TrueHD surround sound presentations. Unfortunately, the release is problematic. Some Blu-ray players will unfortunately experience difficulty playing the audio on this release. The quality of the presentation is weakened by this production problem. English subtitles are provided.
The release comes packaged in a Blu-ray + DVD + UV Combo Pack. This collector's edition release includes deluxe packaging with more artwork than the standard combo edition. The release includes four collectible art-cards and comes in DigiPack style packaging.
The Voices of Dragon Ball Z: They're Back! (7 min.) is a behind-the-scenes piece featuring the English dub voice-actors.
The Return of Dragon Ball Z (41 min.) is an extended behind-the-scenes featurette about the United States premiere of Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F, featuring interviews with those involved with both the Japanese production and English release of the film.
Textless closing song
Lastly, this release includes trailers for other Funimation Entertainment releases.
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F is a decent entry in the popular DBZ franchise. It's not a perfect film (the story is rather weak) but the animation, direction, and action-sequences are certainly entertaining. The Blu-ray release features strong PQ, problematic audio, and some extras. Funimation's release is a bit underwhelming and should be rented first by DBZ fans.