In 1996, Creative Products Corporation made an English dub for the Philippines with the title Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Strongest. It was shown in theatres and was released on VHS there. Funimation released the film in North America with an English dub to VHS and DVD on January 22, 2002. It was also shown on Cartoon Network. It was later remastered and released in a Double Feature set with Dragon Ball Z: The Return of Cooler, on Blu-ray and DVD on May 27, 2008. The film was released to DVD again on November 1, 2011 in a remastered box set containing the first five Dragon Ball Z movies.
In the film, Frieza's older brother Cooler is introduced. It begins with a flashback to when Frieza destroyed the Saiyan home world, Planet Vegeta. Cooler's ship soon picks up a Saiyan space pod on the radar. The pod, carrying a baby Saiyan named Kakarot, is shown to be heading towards Earth, but Cooler's henchmen believe it is an escape. Cooler lets the ship go, accounting that it's Frieza's naïveté, and responsibility. More than twenty years later, Kakarot, eventually renamed Goku because of his adoptive new life on Earth, transforms into a Super Saiyan and defeats Frieza on Planet Namek. Despite showing no compassion towards his brother, Cooler takes his Armored Squadron - Doore, Neiz, and Salza to Earth with the intention of killing Goku in order to reclaim his family's honor. His forces ambush Goku and his friends on a camping trip, and Goku is wounded when he takes a blast from Cooler that was intended for Gohan (who has his regrown Saiyan tail).
After Krillin and Oolong sets up a shelter in a cave with Goku, Gohan flies off on his dragon friend Icarus to obtain Senzu Beans from Korin. After obtaining the beans, Gohan restores the now-exhausted Icarus by feeding him one bean, and they both fly in high speed. But then, they are ambushed by Cooler's henchmen who blast down Icarus and give Gohan a beating. Just as Gohan about to be killed by Doore, the monkey-tailed boy is saved by Piccolo, the last surviving Namekian from his home planet which was destroyed by Frieza. Piccolo dispatches Doore and Neiz, and takes on Salza, easily gaining the upper hand. During the battle, Cooler arrives and catches Piccolo off-guard with a Death Beam, which impales him through the chest but does not kill him. Cooler then sends Salza after Gohan as he continues to blast Piccolo. Gohan gets to the cave with the Senzu Beans, but they are destroyed by Salza. However, he heals Goku with a spare bean that Yajirobe gave him earlier. After Krillin and Gohan are beaten down by Salza, Goku appears fully healed. Cooler shows up, holding onto an unconscious Piccolo. He then blasts Piccolo's body with an unexpected attack as Goku watches in horror. Now angered, Goku blasts Salza into the distance, and begins to fight Cooler.
After Goku proves to be a worthy opponent, Cooler tells of his bleak history with Frieza. He then reveals his final transformation, one that Frieza never showed or achieved, and this one is far more powerful than Frieza's final form. Now at full power, Cooler pummels Goku around effortlessly, despite Goku using the Kaioken attack numerous times. Cooler then proceeds to destroy the landscape. However, after seeing a bird die from wounds inflicted by damage caused during the struggle, Goku thinks back on his friends and family, and how they all will be killed if Cooler wins. He then picks up the dead bird and lets out a yell so powerful it cracks solid stone and draws Cooler's attention, transforming into his Super Saiyan form and giving enough of his energy to revive the bird. Cooler then finds himself, like Frieza was, grossly outclassed by Goku's amazing new powers. After attempting to punch and blast the Super Saiyan with no effect, Cooler summons a trump card when he powers up an enormous ball of energy. Cooler launches the attack with hopes to destroy Goku and the Earth along with him. After a stint of struggling, Goku eventually manages to send it back with the Kamehameha wave, forcing Cooler off the Earth into space and towards the sun. As he hits the sun's surface, Cooler finally realizes that Goku was none other than the baby Saiyan within the escape pod that he ignored back during Frieza's attack on Planet Vegeta. Lamenting his own naïveté, Cooler's body is then seemingly disintegrated by the sun and his own energy blast.
Goku, drained after his battle, is found by Krillin, Gohan, Oolong and Icarus. They are looking for Piccolo when Salza reappears and prepares to kill them all. However, before he can attack, Salza, the last of Cooler's Armored Squadron, is killed by Piccolo's "Special Beam Cannon" from a distance. Gohan looks around for Piccolo, and the movie ends with Piccolo, having recovered, gazing skyward after drinking some water.
Cooler (クウラ, Kūra) is the brother of Frieza who travels to Earth to seek revenge against Goku for Frieza's death, not to avenge his brother, but for vengeance for the slight against his family. Despite transforming into his final form, he is defeated by Super Saiyan Goku. He returns in the sequel, The Return of Cooler, his remains having fused with a sentient computer chip to form the Big Gete Star. He invades New Namek to fuel himself, but is foiled once again and destroyed once and for all by Goku and Vegeta. He returns briefly in Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans as a ghost warrior created by Dr. Raichi, and makes cameo appearances in Dragon Ball GT and Fusion Reborn. He is voiced by Ryūsei Nakao (who also voiced Frieza) in Japanese, and by Andrew Chandler in the English dub.
Like the mercenary Ginyu Force (right down to the posing) called upon by Frieza on Planet Namek, Cooler's Armored Squadron (クウラ機甲戦隊, Kūra Kikō Sentai) composes the elder brother's own special fighting team. These three warriors serve as Cooler's subordinates throughout the course of the film. Their dress is the customary garb of soldiers in Frieza's military; an extended length of armor juts from their left shoulder, while the uniforms themselves are in Cooler's primary colors of purple and white, they are shown to have a habit of blocking or reflecting Ki Blasts rather than dodging them. The team is made up of Cooler's right-hand man Sauzer (サウザー, Sauzā, known as Salza in Funimation's English dub), a blue skinned "pretty-boy" commander with blonde hair and a French accent, who is able to slice through objects using a blade of ki formed in his right hand and very similar to Zarbon in appearance; Naise (ネイズ, Neizu, known as Neiz in Funimation's English dub), an amphibian-like tall, brown reptilian creature who can retract the whole of his head into his body, who can fire an electrical attack that can immobilize his opponents; and Doore (ドーレ, Dōre), who is large, green-skinned and long-haired, never seen without his helmet. The henchmen's names are derived from puns; in this case, it is condiments and salad dressings. All three are killed by Piccolo, who obliterates Doore with a Ki blast, burns Neiz alive with his own attack, and impales Salza with the Special Beam Cannon. Salza and Doore cameo in Fusion Reborn.
A fourth English version released exclusively in Malaysia by Speedy Video features an unknown voice cast.OP (Opening Theme):
Lyrics by Yukinojō Mori
Music by Chiho Kiyooka
Arranged by Kenji Yamamoto
Performed by Hironobu Kageyama
ED (Ending Theme):
Tobikkiri no Saikyō tai Saikyō! (とびっきりの最強対最強, "The Incredible Mightiest vs. Mightiest")
Lyrics by Dai Satō
Music by Chiho Kiyooka
Arranged by Kenji Yamamoto
Performed by Hironobu Kageyama and Ammy
The following songs were present in the Funimation dub of Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge.
- Drowning Pool - Reminded
- Dust for Life - Poison
- American Pearl - Seven Years
- Breaking Point - Under
- Finger Eleven - Stay and Drown
- Breaking Point - Falling Down
- Drowning Pool - Mute
- Disturbed - The Game
- Drowning Pool - Told You So
- Deftones - Change (In the House of Flies)
- American Pearl - Revelation
- Breaking Point - Phoenix
However, on the Cooler Double Feature, there is an alternate audio track containing the English dialogue and Japanese background music that is selected by default. To hear these songs, the original music must be selected from a disk sub-menu.