Dragonball Z is truly an amazing anime series. It survived for an unreal amount of time recycling the same stories over and over. It can never be accused of innovation, which brings us to the fifth movie in the copy and paste line up, Cooler's Revenge. This is not a movie that I could recommend to someone new to the franchise at all. This is definitely either for fans or those who are familiar with the main story. Before coming into this series, it would be a great idea to see the series up until the Frieza Saga for some type of clue; but the crazy thing is, this story doesn't exactly fall into continuity. I've noticed fans mention that this story could have taken place between the Trunks Saga and the Androids Saga, however, I don't exactly buy into that.
The plot follows Goku's son Gohan, as he attempts to save Goku's life by recovering the Senszu beans. Goku was viciously injured by one of Cooler's attacks, and is now kept hidden by Krillin from Cooler's forces whom are demolishing the forest in their search for all of them.
The production values deserves some credit. Visually, it's pretty good with some very nice backgrounds; the waterfalls look nice, and the night time setting has some gorgeous moments. There's also some decent moments here and there with the action, which consist of a decent amount of hand to hand and high energy attacks. However, it's Funimation's soundtrack that really stands out in the style department. The BGM consists of high tempo rock songs by Drowning Pool, Deftones, Breaking Point, and a few others. The music simply rocks covering up the bigger weaknesses.
Dragonball Z is something that is mainly action-driven, but I kind of found the action to be sort of lacking a little. The best scenes took place during the middle portion when Piccolo was battling Cooler's men. After that, the final battle scene just took a dive. The plot really isn't well paced, and it spins its wheels at times. In addition, you're not going to get much character development, and the villains are all cookie cutter to the extreme with no depth whatsoever. I would probably have enjoyed this more if the ending had not felt like one big jip. It felt way too gimmicky and terribly tacked on, which is something that becomes a trend in the later movies.
Cooler's Revenge actually goes by quicker than its run time states. This is mainly due to the sound track which seriously rules, and makes this movie extremely easy to get through. I do not recommend this to anyone besides diehard DBZ fans though. To my experience, they're the only ones who truly love it.
Highs: Soundtrack and production values
Lows: Weak first and final acts, stock bad guys