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  • Dec 30, 2010


I have always been a fan of the Manga series Dragonball by Akira Toriyama and each series afterwards like Dragonball Z and Dragonball GT. I liked the written formats and the animes as well so I was excited when this live action film was announced. I was let down a bit when the trailer was released but I never judge without seeing something first. I missed the theatrical release because of reasons unknown to myself, as I did not know when it was out [limited I think could be wrong]. So when the DVD was released I had to see it so off I went with my girl and brother and sat down to hopefully enjoy.

Goku is just a normal every day average young man who has trouble fitting in and getting the girl of his dreams, and can fight like crazy. That of course is his only thing he has going for him but even then his grandfather can whoop him. Any way one day he is invited to Chi Chi's house for a party by her, the girl of his dreams. So after sneaking out and skipping on his tradition he does with his grandpa on his birthday he makes his way to Chi Chi's. Upon arriving a group of guys that usually pick on him are there to continue the torment, until he decides to teach them a lesson, with out throwing a blow. While doing this and impressing Chi Chi his grandfather is attacked by Piccolo an alien who is far more powerful than he is. Piccolo is after the Dragonballs and will stop at nothing to get them including killing all those who are in the way.

So after returning home Goku learns of this and is told by his dying grandfather to find a Master Roshi. From there Roshi can help him keep the Dragonballs safe and teach him to fight Piccolo. This journey to save the world will lead him on a crazy adventure that introduces him to characters such as the lovely Bulma and a guy named Yamcha. All three with the help of Master Roshi set out to find the Dragonballs and stop Piccolo before he can summon another creature that threatens the world.

Well even though that all sounds good the truth of the matter is it really is not the awesome extravaganza that it should have been. This film when first announced had me all kinds of crazy hyped, because for some reason I though they would take this serious enough to make it great. I can understand changing some things for the feature film to make it appeal to a wider audience but there are some things in this that are just, well not good shall we say. Director James Wong as taken a lot of flack for this film and for the most part rightly so, because as the team captain he should have been all over the mistakes in this. The direction at times feels uneven and at others a bit rushed if that makes any sense. At least the action is good but the biggest mistake is the fact that the final battle with Piccolo is way to short. Piccolo is a bad dude and at least they made him look cool in this even though the fight at the end could have been better.

Ben Ramsey messed up with this one; I don't know why he wrote it like this because he has done much better. He directed a recent film that I though was great called "Blood & Bone" and wrote one of my favorite films called "The Big Hit". Don't know what he was doing on this one, but oh well I guess. Acting wise this is also a mixed bag because all perform fine at some points and are off at others. Lead Justin Chatwin as Goku falls right into that category doing ok at times and not so much at others. Same can be said for Emmy Rossum as Bulma and Joon Park as Yamcha. Yun-Fat Chow however is good as Master Roshi and does not miss a beat, and Eriko Tamura is great in this as well [and easy to look at]. Randall Duk Kim is good as Goku's grandfather and James Marsters is great as Piccolo.

Now to be honest with you this film is kinda entertaining if you watch it with absolutely no expectations what so ever. For any one whom as know clue about the source material for this or any thing related to it I a pretty sure you would enjoy this. This is a popcorn flick for sure nothing but pure entertainment for those who no nothing about it. For those like myself who do know a thing or two about the source material it is kind of frustrating to see this film made like this. Still for those like me who do know turn off expectations and look at it like it is just another flick and it is halfway decent.


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December 30, 2010
a few things made this movie bearable for me to watch--the actresses specifically Jaime Chung! nice one, Alex. I just wished that they made this one a lot better.
February 19, 2011
This could have been so much more
More Dragonball: Evolution (2009) reviews
Quick Tip by . May 21, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
A 2009 movie?! Boy, that's surprising! I watched it on TV and definitely wouldn't have paid for it in the movie! It feels like watching Star Trek on TV! Enjoyable but don't go paying big bucks for such movies, even if it's Chow Yun Fat is acting!!! A waste of money & resources especially when so many are unemployed these days!
Quick Tip by . December 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Now to be honest with you this film is kinda entertaining if you watch it with absolutely no expectations what so ever. For any one whom as know clue about the source material for this or any thing related to it I a pretty sure you would enjoy this.
review by . August 01, 2010
The Dragonball Evolution story comes from an Asian comic book series. I have never read this comic book, but was recommended to watch this movie by fans of the serial. And so I did, and I was horribly disappointed. The entire story is quite original to those who have no background in Asian comic book stories, and I won't go into the details here, but everything else was horrible. First of, why is the main character a white man when the setting is in Asia, and the main character's father is Oriental? …
review by . April 24, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
There's surprisingly little evolving going on in "Dragonball: Evolution." If anything, it de-evolves, taking an archetypal hero's journey and stripping it down past the bare minimum. So many details are either quickly alluded to or altogether overlooked, which essentially leaves us with a fairly bland action adventure story that throws in a little self-discovery for good measure. Based on the "Dragon Ball" graphic novels written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama, "Dragonball: Evolution" is an airy, …
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About this movie


Co-produced by Hong Kong legend Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle),Dragonball Evolutionis an agreeable if low-wattage live action adaptation of the iconic manga and anime seriesDragon Ball. Director James Wong fuses the series’ fantasy-based characters and devices with a somewhat lackluster storyline involving average teen Goku (Justin Chatwin), who breaks from his wholesale pining for classmate Chi-Chi (Jamie Chung) to that he’s at the center of an intergalactic search for the all-powerful Dragonballs by evil warlord Piccolo (Buffy’s James Marsters). With the help of master Roshi (Chow Yun-Fat, who backburners his stoic screen image in favor of someGod of Gamblers/Once a Thief-level hamminess), Goku develops his fighting skills to take on Piccolo and save the Earth. The film’s abundance of martial arts should please younger and less discerning viewers, but its hackneyed dialogue and sluggish pace (especially in the fight scenes, which stutter where they should flow) may disappoint longtime fans of the book and television adaptations. The CGI effects, which labor mightily to reproduce the source material’s eye-popping look, also fall short, though the cast is game, especially Marsters and Chow.-- Paul Gaita

Stills from Dragonball: Evolution (Click for larger image)    

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DVD Release Date: July 28, 2009
Runtime: 85 minutes
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
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