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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dragon Ball Z: Return of Cooler Review

Having recently watched Cooler's Revenge, I was in a DBZ mood. Thanks to the wonderful folks at Nicktoons, the sequel, Return of Cooler, was airing the next day. I had originally seen this film three years ago, before I had actually read the manga. In short, I didn't know too much about the franchise at that time. Now it's much different. Three years later, I've read the whole manga and seen two films. Now I had the chance to re-watch this film as a fan of the franchise. While I did enjoy it more than I did then, there's still a lot of flaws.

The story begins when Big Gete Star goes on top of New Planet Namek. The Namekians are soon captured by robots with unbelievable power. Back on earth, Dende becomes aware of the situation and asks Goku to save his people. Goku agrees of course. He and some of his friends head to New Namek. Once they arrive, they realize tat the robots are working for a being. Goku instantly recognizes the reincarnated, Cooler, now with a metal lok. Can Goku stop Meta Cooler? Maybe with the timely arrival of Vegeta, but even two Super Saiyans may not be able to stop the monster from destroying the planet.

The main problem with this entry is that it doesn't feel like a film. It feels like a two-part special. It's lacking the high quality feel of its predecessor. The dialogue is worst, there's more comic relief, and the fights aren't as fluid. (They still are excellent, just not comparable to the ones in Revenge.) The music score, while good, is no where near as awesome as Revenge's. This film is just lacking the dramatic atmosphere that Revenge had. It has its moments, but its a far inferior film.

This film marks the return of Cooler, Frieza's brother. Gotta say, love the new sleek 'meta' look. His intro is dramatic, definitely one of the best scenes in the film. His script is the best, love the scene where Goku uses an attack and then soon after Cooler says "Of course, it is one of my favorite techniques." Brilliant. Goku is great as always. We also get a nice appearance by Vegeta. Gotta admit, him being in it makes things a lot more interesting. Always fun to watch the two team up. Unlike its predecessor, the other characters are pretty much useless. (Aside from Piccolo.) They're pretty much played for laughs the whole way through.

The music, as I've said, is good. But after watching Revenge, the music here is just inferior. It's better suited for the episodes, which is fine, but for a movie, I'm going to need more dramatic tunes. Don't get me wrong though, the music is still great. DBZ always has great music, but Revenge has far superior tunes. The final battle I have to say was climatic. Loved how Cooler at the end turned into one more form. Truly one of, if not the best film villain.

Overall, Return of Cooler is a disappointing direct sequel to the far superior Cooler's Revenge. It lacks the scope and dramatic atmosphere of the ladder. Still, it has some solid fights, good (but inferior) music, and some great character moments. Return of Cooler is disappointing, but still not a bad entry in the Dragon Ball Z universe.


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