Since 2002, me and many other Dragonball fans around the world have feverishly anticipated the release of a live action adaptation of one of the most beloved anime franchises the world over.
The idea of a live action Dragonball movie brings so much potential to the table, and really changes the perspective of film making in bringing an anime to life, and bringing fantasy to life in a whole new way. This should have been something we have never seen before, it should have been aw-inspiring, captivating, and capturing the very essence of the Dragonball series that so many people have grown up with and come to expect.
Sadly, Dragonball Evolution is perhaps one of the worst movies I have ever laid my eyes on. Not only is this movie a wretched failure from a "fan" point of view since I am a fan of the material, but also as someone who loves and watches movies, and pays attention to Hollywood.
Within the last two years, we have seen some truely great films including. The Dark Knight, Iron Man, No Country for Old Men, Transformers, There Will Be Blood, Slumdog Millionaire, and many many more that would take up too much of this review.
With Dragonball Evolution, it takes all of the high calbur oscar-worthy/winning acting, and high grade special effects and production values, and pretty much takes it out with one destructive "air-bending" Ka-Me-Ha-Me-Ha(a little inside joke on the movie).
The movie is so out of touch with its source material, this movie can hardly be called "Dragonball". Outside of name-sake(or Marque value) such as Dragonballs, Goku, Bulma, Yamcha, Shenlong, Ma-fu-ba(sealing technique for Piccolo), Piccolo, Grampa Gohan, Mai, Chi Chi, Master Roshi, Oozaru, and the Ka-Me-Ha-Me-Ha. This movie has next to nothing to do with the original story and characters.
Even if I was not a fan of the Dragoball series, and did'nt know what it was, I still would have found this movie attrociously bad.
The movie has so many problems, it's hard to list them all, because some just don't make any sense, or they are so confusing, it's really hard to put any of the movie into a coherent perspective.
I'll start with the performances of the actors. Simply put, Abysmal. They deliver pointless dialogue, have pointless scenes, no chemistry outside of boy-like-girl love interest, and lets you know you're watching a bad movie and nothing else. The actors are either un-interesting, extremely campy, or the dialogue is so horrendous you just cringe at it.
You would think with an actor like Chow Yun Fat on board, this movie would have some deceny to it. But sadly no, his performance may be one of the worst of his career. Goku(Justin Chatwin) is beyond un-compelling. He's just anger inducing to see him portray Goku in such poor character. Lusting after girls affections, wanting popularity, picked on by bullies for no reasonable explanation. Gag me with a spoon.
The story makes little sense. 2,000 years ago, Piccolo with his disciple the "Oozaru"(that's right, not even calling him a "Saiyan") tried to destroy/take over the world but was thwarted by monks and Piccolo was sealed away. Without any explanation, Piccolo is free from his prison, has Mai(his hench-woman) at his side(who by the way has no back story to explain how/why she's with him), he's in an air-ship. And we are given no explanation throughout the film on his full intentions, or anything else relating to his character. Also, he has the shortest amount of screentime of the movie, totaling 5 scenes.
Meanwhile Goku is turing 18, gets a dragonball from Gohan, and Goku is somehow involved this cliched prophecy with an eclipse that relates to Piccolo wanting to destroy/take over the world for no reason what so ever.
Later on with the final battle of the film is where the continuity of the film throws its hands in the air and walks away from the movie. Piccolo is somehow able to control the "Oozaru" side of Goku, and that Goku is the "Oozaru" from 2,000 years ago who served Piccolo. There's absolutely no explanation at all as to how Piccolo is manipulating Gokus transformation, or how he even knows that he's a Sayain. Or if Goku is the Oozaru, then what the hell is going on? And if Goku is 18, then how was he alive 2000 years ago serving Piccolo? It's a total mind meltdown.
The movie is just full of continuity problems that plague the film from the main plot, to the character sub-plots that amount to absolutely nothing and have no sort of resolution. The special effects are horridly done, there's so much wire work you could swear they worked in a circus. And it's just a completely un-interesting film.
The acting is laughable and completely unbelieveable in any sense, the fighting and special effects are poorly done and look unconvincing, and overall boring. The story and plots are poorly written, confusing, and even leave a fan of the series like myself, completely lost in the continuity issues that plague this film.
This is easily one of the worst films FOX Studios has ever produced based on a major worldwide franchise. Do not buy this movie, it is a waste of time, and a complete disgrace to the series many fans know and love. But this is also an insult to people wanting to see a good movie, you're going to have to look elsewhere because this movie has no entertainment value to speak of.
Overall, this movie is about as cliche as you can possibly get by ripping off of better movies like Spiderman and the Matrix, but also being totally un-original, and just making no sense what so ever with its story, characters, and relating to the Dragonball series.