The 13th Dragon Ball Z movie is an excellent one with all the things we love about the Dragon Ball Z series plus a threat that does add more excitement to the mix. Wrath of the Dragon finds Goku alive and well and is about a sorceror who tricks the Z fighters to release a legendary hero Tapion using the Dragon Balls. The problem with this is that Tapion has half of an evil demon Hirudegarn. As Tapion struggles with the demon, the other half of it starts creating chaos on earth. Eventually the Z fighters learn the truth and attempt to destroy the beast. Wrath of the Dragon has something going for it that previous Dragonball Z movies sorely lacked: a story.
Wrath of the Dragon has a number of great fights and also has a lot of focus on Trunks. One interesting point of the story is how it moves from one character to the next, being passed along, so it isn’t focusing on a singular character. Bulma manages to get in a bit of screen time, but Krillen is used for a brief moment of typical comic relief and doesn’t even get to fight. Those sad notes aside, this is by far one of the best DBZ movies, but unfortunately it is also the final.
In general, the overall writing for FUNimation’s dub as well as the original Japanese version is better than the average DBZ movies which are kinda lackluster and derivative. However, like most of the other DBZ movies this doesn’t fit into the series’ continuity, so don’t even try and say otherwise. As every true Dragon Ball Z fan knows the timeline of the TV series and the timeline of the movies do not go hand in hand. The movie Wrath of the Dragon serves the purpose of not only closure of the series, but also answers a peculiar question of one of the character, we see how does Trunks obtains the sword that he will later use to kill Freeza and King Cold. This was a grand addition to the family of DBZ films. I enjoyed the large scale action and the intriguing plot, although I wish that Taipon would have fought once. Old school fans will be pleased by the Dragonball hunt that takes place early in the movie. That’s what used to be the focus of the series, after all!
Like I touched on earlier, there is also a good amount of humor in the movie, something that the series always had room for but many of the movies lacked. Meanwhile, Trunks persistence in befriending Tapion seems to work and the two become like brothers. But unknown to them, Hoi has a plan to extract the monster right out of Tapion. Now the Z Warriors must do all they can to prevent Hoi from extracting the monster from Tapion. All in all, no real complaints here as this was a nice way to tie up the franchise and I walked away satisfied. I have always considered the Dragon Ball Z movies to be far less enjoyable than the regular series, but this one exceeds expectations.