Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge is the fifth film released for Dragon Ball Z. The film was directed by Mitsuo Hashimoto, and it was released to Japanese theaters on July 21, 1991. FUNimation has released the film on home video in North America several times; as of this writing, the most recent DVD release of the film is part of the Dragon Ball Z Collection One movie box set.
The film opens with a flashback from when Frieza was attacking Planet Namek, and baby Kakarrot (who we know as Goku) is sent away in a capsule to Earth. In this flashback, it turns out that Frieza's brother, Cooler, is nearby and watching what is happening. Cooler sees Goku's capsule on its way to Earth, but he chooses not to shoot it down. The film is set after Goku learns how to become a Super Saiyan and defeats Frieza on Planet Namek. Cooler takes his henchmen to Earth to hunt down and kill Goku in order to reclaim his father's honor.
Goku, Gohan, Kuririn, and Oolong are out camping, and are discovered by Cooler and his henchmen. Piccolo also shows up and joins in the fight. The film follows what happens with the characters, and how the fights progress. Can Goku and the other Z-Fighters defeat Cooler and his henchmen?
This is a case where I can easily determine when in the anime series continuity this film would fit. Of all of the Dragon Ball Z films that had been released up to this point, Cooler's Revenge is the one that best fits into the continuity of the series, instead of being part of an "alternate timeline."
It's also a film that is well-paced; the action is always moving and the story is always progressing, and you never feel bogged down or bored as you watch it. It's also an easy story to follow. Animation-wise, it's about the same quality as the animation utilized in the anime series.
I saw this film on the DVD that is included as part of the Dragon Ball Z Collection One movie box set. It's claimed on the box that the film was digitally remastered. The video quality was decent; however, the Japanese audio I listened to while I watched this disc didn't sound remastered. Since the Japanese audio is in mono, this would probably explain why the audio quality didn't sound as good as it could have been.
I would recommend acquiring this film to add your DVD collection if you're a die-hard Dragon Ball Z fan.
I wrote this review after receiving a copy of the Dragon Ball Z Collection One movie box set as a gift.