Saturday, April 16, 2016

Dragonball Z Movie 6: The Return of Cooler

It's Cooler 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Featuring the movie debut of Vegeta.

Now in HD!



High above New Namek, a solar eclipse is blotting out the sun. Well, one of the two suns. The only one that matters. The other sun is like the Stephen Baldwin of the two.

The good people of New Namek, who have barely had time to start living their lives again now that their planet has been rebuilt post-Freeza...

...get to suffer more from the solar apocalypse. These poor folks can't get more than a week of peace.

 Not just that, but the thing blocking the sun is now EATING THE PLANET.

Explosions ring out everywhere as the giant ship begins clamping down.

That giant ship? The oddly-named Big Geti Star, which is basically Tree of Might 2.0.

That's right, this movie jumps right into the dire threat without any filler, a rarity for OG DBZ.

Back in the day, filler was the most difficult part of watching the show. Most of each episode's runtime consisted of powering up, staredowns, and slow pans across the faces of all the characters to see how everyone was reacting to every little thing that happened. Now we have stuff like Kai and Abridged that make the original much more watchable.

Meanwhile, back at Kami's Lookout in Earthrealm...

 AH! JESUS!

...Dende is crying. He may be residing on Earth, but he can sense what's going on. ....I wonder how many light years away New Namek is.

Dende, now guardian of Earth, relays to our heroes that trouble is brewing on New Namek, and they set sail yet again.

...why doesn't Gokou just use Instant Transmission to get back there? It'll take weeks to arrive in this ship. Is it really necessary to take fuckin' Oolong on the mission?

Well, at least Piccolo is along too, so that's one powerful person besides Gokou. As they get closer, they spot New Namek in dire straits.

Side note: Piccolo is too cool for a space suit.

Gokou is appalled at the sight of the Big Geti Star...mainly because he has no idea what it is. Aside from having a stupid name, it looks ridiculous.

On the surface of the planet, an army of T-200s are subjugating the peaceful populace. Putting them to work in factories, building HKs.

"HKs?"

Hunter-Killers.

The disposal units ran night and day, and they were THIS close to going out for good. But there was one man who brought them back from the brink. His name was...

...Connor. Gokou Connor. Your son, Bardock.

The T-200s all line up and it turns out there are dozens and dozens of them, which is unnecessary and takes some of the punch out of later developments. More on that in a bit.

AH! JESUS!

What the frick, dude?

But wait! Their leader steps forward, and it's... The T-1000?

Wait a minute, that T-1000 looks familiar! That's because it's... Metal Cooler. Like Metal Freeza, except way more advanced.

The B-Team fights the T-200 army, only to get owned...of course.

Roshi sees action for the first time since World's Strongest. He's got this one in the bag!

...or, you know, vice versa.

Time for the sous chef of this group to swing into action.

This is a cool shot, since Piccolo had to sit out most of the Namek Saga. Had he been around to back up Gohan and Kuririn there, the saga could have gone very differently. This is almost like a "what if" shot of the Namek Saga.

Kuririn musters up all his rage and launches another attack on the robots! This time he'll MAKE THEM PA-

THUNK.

Third time's the charm, as he finally manages to take one down.

The three heroes are able to disable several robots, but the sheer number of them is insurmountable; the good guys ultimately get captured and hauled off to parts unknown.

Piccolo actually avoids capture, but he's more or less held in check by a barrage of arm cannon shots.

 Meanwhile, Gokou locks horns with Cooler high above. He uses the instant transmission, so we know he has it, adding to the question of why he didn't just warp here at the first sign of trouble. Also, Cooler has the instant transmission himself...for some reason.

Some weird stuff happens with the two of them instant transmissioning around in slow-mo, trying to get the upper hand on each other.

 Gokou is outmatched, so let's see how long it takes for him to go Super Saiyan.

Cooler summons the infamous Death Ball, the planet-killing signature attack of both he and Freeza. Look out, Gokou!

And we have Super Saiyan. Already! This has to be a record, it only took a few minutes.

The fight is more even now, but Cooler, being a machine, still has an advantage.

 AH! JESUS!

Gokou dishes out a really cool charging Superman Punch, which...

...breaks off a sizable portion of Cooler's body. And here's where we learn about his robot-advantages, as...

...he regenerates the damage very quickly, like Cell does later in the show. In this case it isn't regenerative DNA, it's his computer repairing and strengthening the area damaged.

According to Cooler, he's now "resistant" to the kind of damage he took, Borg-style. While he says this, we don't really see it in action. For instance, he doesn't take a Kamehameha wave and then become immune to Kamehameha waves.

Cooler: "Becoming Metal is a path to many powers some would consider to be...unnatural."

But wait! Just when it appears Gokou is in dire straits, he's saved by...

...Ronda Rousey? My God!

...nope, it's Vegeta, finally making his movie debut. And what's more...

...it's his Super Saiyan movie debut! This alone adds so much to the movie.

Here's something we don't see often, Gokou humbled while Vegeta fights on. With the two of them teaming up like this on an equal level, it's sorta a proto Movie 15. I'll get to that.

Unfortunately, Vegeta gets auto-repelled by Cooler. We were SO CLOSE.

Metal Cooler, it turns out, is a big challenge for both of them combined.

 This is sorta what I thought the original Freeza fight would be like before I saw it. I figured it'd be Gokou and Vegeta both going Super Saiyan and having to team up to barely defeat Freeza. I'd have rather seen that version of things.

Quick shot of Cooler's Terminatorvision. Needs more graphs and texts on the side. Don't worry about Cooler, we've got thirty cops in this building.

Gokou catches the battered Vegeta. If he were conscious, our favorite prince would be so ticked off right now.

Cooler proceeds to nuke the landscape. I wonder how much of DBZ's reliance on nuclear explosions is due to an ingrained fear of them in Japanese culture. Serious thought.

Meanwhile, the good people of New Namek have been herded into a Skynet work camp, where they get dictated to by...

...this creepy-as-fook little robot. Apparently they're all going to be fed to the Big Geti Star incinerator to give their life-energy to the Cooler Core. ...which sounds like a Donkey Kong Country level. Apparently Cooler's CPU is in the Big Geti Star, meaning the guy fighting outside is just a puppet.

 The creepy little robot is apparently super-strong...and super-cheerful and polite. At least in the Japanese version of the movie. It's pretty funny.

Elsewhere in the ship, Piccolo is flying through what appears to be Tron. In the Japanese version, he fights a Metal Cooler Clone for a brief moment, but it's so quick that it's barely worth looking at.

Back at the main event, Gokou and Vegeta team up for a double-tech on Cooler, hoping to do so much damage at once that he has trouble repairing.

They succeed, as Cooler's body frantically tries to reform T-1000-style.

Vegeta blasts the little pieces into dust before they can fully recombine, and that's it for Cooler.

Our heroes collapse to take a well-deserved nap, only to get a visit from...

...what the hell? Cooler? Did he re-form somehow?

Vegeta is completely perplexed...and it gets worse.

...it isn't just Cooler, it's a massive army of Cooler. These are Metal Cooler Clones, and the Big Geti Star can produce them in abundance. This would have a little bit more impact if we hadn't already seen an endless army of robots earlier (which wasn't even necessary...six of them would have sufficed for holding off the B-Team).

 If the robots earlier were T-200s, these guys are all T-1000s.

The Cooler Clones proceed to slide down the cliff and approach our heroes as the scene goes dark. We don't know what happened, but we know Gokou and Vegeta put up a fruitless resistance.

Now we get the single creepiest scene in ANY movie in this series, as our heroes are suspended in some void while the Big Geti Star drains their energy.


At the core is Cooler's severed head, all that remains of him after his defeat in the previous movie. Not sure why the head isn't in his final form from that movie, but whatever. From here, the true Cooler controls all the Metal Coolers outside. So...if he has an army of Metal Coolers, why did he need the T-200s at all?

For whatever reason, Cooler tells our heroes how this weird scenario came to be. It turns out that a ship was destroyed in the depths of space at some point, one with a self-aware AI chip onboard.

Over the eons, that chip proceeded to go all Trapper Keeper and absorb various pieces of the broken ship to rebuild itself into some sort of craft, eventually becoming the Big Geti Star. At some point Cooler's head floated by (wow, it must have been ejected out of the sun at high speed). Of course, the Star proceeded to absorb Cooler's head, but since Cooler was a living thing (still, somehow), he was able to take control of the CPU's "mind" and turn the Big Geti Star into an extension of himself, channeling all of its resources to his own ends.

It doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's an interesting idea.

What were his own ends, you ask?

Building new bodies, like this new super-body that he'll re-attach his head to and live on. It looks significantly more freakish than the streamlined Metal Coolers, so again, weird that he's going for an apparently inferior design.

To power his new body, he needs lots and lots of energy. Luckily for him, two Super Saiyans should do the trick easily.

This...is disturbing.

It finally ends when our heroes manage to power up whilst being drained, thus overloading the circuits entirely.

The Big Geti Star proceeds to start blowing up... and also magically lift off of the planet while this is happening. It's very Tree of Might.

All of the Metal Cooler Clones outside proceed to blow up, I guess since the Star is overloaded.

Elsewhere, Yajirobe is about to be murdered by a saw blade (how is THAT going to drain his power?) when...

...the saw stops moving as the Big Geti Star shuts down. Thank God. Just... just Thank God.

More blowing up follows as the Star lifts off and our heroes flee the ship. All of them except Gokou and Vegeta, who...

...still need to finish off the Cooler Core. Well, Gokou does. Vegeta is busy being knocked-out.

AH! JESUS!

Cooler's super body emerges from the core, and it turns out he's a massive Snoke-like beast.

(Side Note: Snoke is definitely Darth Plagueis)

But wait! Vegeta lives, and helps Gokou take down the giant monster fairly easily. A couple of blasts do the trick.

I'd say no. DBZ's ultimate Two Man Power Trip has arrived.

Good to see these two finally on the same page, even if it's driven out of necessity.

Gokou gets the final shot, of course, and...

...that's it for the real Cooler. He got to be the villain of not one but TWO movies, a feat only surpassed by Broly.

Our heroes somehow get out of the exploding ship (which politely waits until it leaves orbit to blow up) and plummet towards the ground. Poor Vegeta.

Maybe you guys should get out of the way...

...thud.

Well, all's well that ends well, though Vegeta somehow poofed just now. Where'd he go? Come to think of it, how'd he get here to begin with? And why?

Two of those three questions are immediately answered, as we see Vegeta leaving in his space pod.

He's got the AI chip from the Star...somehow. If I were him I'd get rid of it before it starts trying to absorb him.

...which he does, as he crushes the chip with a grimace.

We get another unique ending theme as this one winds to a close.

Well, that was a really weird movie. I'm not too crazy about what they did with Cooler, and would have rather had a single Metal Cooler as the villain without all the Big Geti Star nonsense. At least this movie tries something new with the formula, giving us an unsettling, creepy, 2001 vibe. All of that said...I'm alright with this movie because it's actually interesting.


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2 comments:

  1. Roshi, Oolong... even Yajirobe is there. Yikes.

    Had Piccolo been around to back up Kuririn and Gohan... he also would have been destroyed by the Ginyu Force. He wouldn't have had any of the benefits of not-training on King Kai's planet (assuming he got anything from that). I suppose he would have gotten a power boost from Guru the way Gohan and Kuririn did, but during the Nappa fight Piccolo was only a bit stronger than Kuririn and Gohan, so it wouldn't have made much of a difference. Recoome destroyed Vegeta and even with a boost Piccolo would have been weaker than that. The only chance he has would be if he went around finding not-quite-dead Namekians and fusing with all that he could.

    I can explain Cooler's head, at the end of Movie 5 right before the sun kills him you see his face is back to his regular form, I guess the stronger one got blown away or melted or something. https://youtu.be/2vdrCwDChwI?t=241

    Man, Korin would have been devastated if Yajirobe bit it.

    That song is from this movie? Huh, I had no idea. That's been on the occasional rotation since 1998.

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  2. The poor Namekians make me think of the rise and falls of peoples due to war.

    Piccolo being too cool for a suit is perfect.

    This is the first time I've ever seen this movie!

    Awesome fight and now...whoa, this plot is going in a really unexpected direction.

    Yeah this was weird, but it was also very unique for DBZ. Having Gokou and Vegeta teaming up on a fairly equal basis was nice too. I feel good about this movie.

    Why'd he have so many T-200s when he could have many Coolers? Because he wanted to preserve the illusion of their being only one Cooler as long as he could I would guess, also because running that many Coolers would take a lot more energy when they actually wanted to store up energy for their other plans. You need to be economical to save up power!

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