“Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F,’” the latest installment in the popular anime franchise, unites old and new friends — and a foe viewers love to hate — in a take-no-prisoners mixture of martial arts slugfests and slapstick comedy.
Sorbet (voice by Jeremy Schwartz), a former lieutenant of the arch-villain Frieza (Chris Ayres), uses the magical Dragon Balls to resurrect his long-dead master. Frieza returns to Earth eager to exact revenge for his previous defeat.
But Super Saiyan warrior Goku (Seán Schemmel), the only one who can defeat Frieza, isn’t on duty. He and his rival Vegeta (Christopher R. Sabat) are in another dimension, training with Beerus (Jason Douglas), the feline god of destruction, and his servant Whis (Ian Sinclair). When they finally get back to Earth, the two heroes quarrel like seventh-graders over whose turn it is to slug the villain.
Frieza plays on Goku’s innocent good nature and Vegeta’s arrogance with seemingly fatal consequences. But Goku proves to be a true superhero: He triumphs at the last possible moment, obliterating his foe and saving the planet. At the end of the credits, Frieza is shown enduring the torments of a comic hell.
Working from a script by series creator Akira Toriyama, director Tadayoshi Yamamuro introduces some CG effects for Frieza’s spaceship and the planet-wide explosions. But he wisely keeps the character animation two-dimensional: Goku and his friends look and act just the way they always have (and the way the audience expects). The result is a slam-bang action-adventure that will have “Dragon Ball” fans cheering.
“Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F.’”
MPAA rating: None (cartoon violence).
Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes.
Playing: In general release.