Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge Review
There's a term for anime-based-on-manga films. They call it 'a filler episode with a bigger budget.' In many ways, that's true. A film can't really affect the show, cause it would most likely cause contradictions. Dragon Ball Z has arguably the most famous anime films. Take the fights from the show, but put in a lot of cringe-worthy dialogue. Cooler's Revenge is no different, but it's step above the average DBZ film.
The story begins with a flashback to when Frieza destroyed Bardock and the rest of the Saiyans. A little pod carrying a being who would grow up to become Goku is the only survivor. From his ship, a being called Cooler, who happens to be Frieza's older brother, is watching the events. Years later, after the death of Frieza, Goku, Gohan, Krillin, and Oolong go camping. However, when Cooler realizes that a Saiyan destroyed his brother, he heads to earth to destroy Goku for humiliating his family.
Ah, this is how it should be done. The opening featuring Bardock and Frieza was definitely one of the most interesting scenes in the DBZ universe. I like how it fills the gap of back-story in the universe. The intro captivated me, and I was set for the rest of the film. That's how you start a DBZ film. The introduction of Cooler was amazing, I love the differences between him and Frieza and how he dislikes his brother. The beginning itself is worthy of five stars. (The music in the intro is also equally amazing.) After an amazing intro, we head back to earth for some generic dialogue between Gohan and Chi-Chi. Nothing too awful, just your run-of-the-mill DBZ film stuff. The scene with Cooler explaining how he wants to eradicate Goku makes up for it.
The DBZ films have some memorable (Cooler, Broly) and some unmemorable (Slug, Garlic Jr.) villains. Unlike the villain in the previous DBZ film I saw, Fusion Reborn, the villain here has actual character and great back-story. Him being related to an established villain is a great concept. His differences between him and Frieza is both interesting and fun to watch. I especially liked the scene where he's watching his brother destroy the Saiyan planet on the screen and he says "Look at him gloat, his arrogance will be his undoing." Goku is great as always. The other characters, such as Gohan and Krillin are fine. I liked the scene where Cooler's henchman Salza destroys a bag of senzu beans then Krillin goes all crazy on him. Piccolo is especially cool in the film, defeating every single member of Cooler's henchmen. (The scene where Cooler shoots a beam right through him is definitely the most dramatic scene in the film.)
However, probably the greatest thing about the film is FUNimation's dubbed soundtrack. My gosh, the music really carried the film. It brought the term "dramatic atmosphere" to a new level. It's just amazing. The music brought the character's intros and fights to a whole new level of awesomeness. The music itself is triple A+. DBZ has always been known for it's great music, but this film takes it up a notch, easily beating its sequel's, Return of Cooler, soundtrack, or for that matter, DBZ films in general.
Overall, Cooler's Revenge is a step above the average DBZ film. It features an interesting plot, amazingly fluid fights, a great villain, and a stellar soundtrack. It's no masterpiece of course, but it's good stuff when you're a fan of the franchise. Though the only thing I didn't get is why Goku waited until the very last second to transform in Super Saiyan. Considering he's able to transform into it easily, it didn't make sense why he waited so long. Also, Cooler's final form is probably has probably the most awesome appearance from any character in the franchise. Cooler's Revenge is better than its sequel, Return of Cooler, and is far superior to the last one I saw, Fusion Reborn. Cooler's Revenge is definitely a worthy entry in the Dragon Ball Z franchise.