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Thursday, 9 April 2009

Dragonball Evolution Review

PLOT: The young warrior Son Goku sets out on a quest, racing against time and the vengeful King Piccolo, to collect a set of seven magical orbs that will grant their wielder unlimited power. (Credit to IMDB)


When news broke out about the Dragonball live action movie, I'm sure many dedicated fans to the beloved manga and anime series were in a raging fit and they had great reason to. So ignoring the fact that Goku was white (not that anything's wrong with this) and the high school backdrop, I walked into the cinema trying to hold an unbiased standing point over this film.

Within the first 20 minutes of the film, I already felt it was going to be a major letdown. The only good things I can really say about the movie are probably some of the camera techniques and that some of the movie was somewhat faithful to the source material (such as clever allusions to Roshi's perversion). Also, a few scenes were rather entertaining and offered cheap laughs (not that this is bad). Everything else was pretty poor.

Firstly the dialogue was very poor. I know that most of this film's advertising has been aimed towards children but really, using a line like, "Prepare to eat dirt" is pretty tasteless even for kids. However, despite the poor script, the dialogue for the movie also makes it sort of faithful to the manga/anime. If you really think about it, the cheesy and lame lines delivered by the characters pretty much mirror that of the manga/anime. So to those who are complaining about how Dragonball Evolution has ruined their childhood memories, it really hasn't.

The development of the story and characters was also very poor. I felt that it was too rushed and that characters like Bulma and Yamcha were too reluctant and too quick to join Goku on his quest. The only character that really had major development throughout the story was Goku. It seemed like the film makers just wanted to get the film over and done with and it's quite obvious. Perhaps if just a few more minutes were spent on developing the characters, then maybe I would reconsider saying what I've just said.

The special effects were pretty bad as well. The ki effects were fine but just the transformation of Goku into Oozaru and seeing Oozaru himself (who by the way served no real purpose in the movie and was pointless). Shenron (or Shenlong?) was also pretty poorly animated. I would've thought the special effects would've been a lot better seeing as how the movie relies heavily on it.

The acting in the movie was also pretty mediocre, especially with Jaime Chung (who plays Chi-Chi).
I usually like Emmy Rossum's work (she plays Bulma) but she disappointed me in this. Then again, she couldn't really do much with her role, as pointed out by Eddie.

Let's just say much of the movie, I didn't like. Even as a kids' film I didn't really get suckered into it. The film lacked character and story development, gave in rather mediocre performances from all involved and suffered from rather cheesy dialogue.

Unfortunately for Dragonball Evolution, I give it 2/5.

UPDATED: Re-evaluation has now caused me to rate this 1/5. Sorry but it didn't convince me. Hopefully the Z attempt will be much better as it has more creative depth to it.

1 comment:

  1. I created a blog to comment.
    I watched 10 eps of Dragon Ball last night. Those 10 episodes were better than the whole movie, although somewhat episodic, the show is really hilarious.

    A lot of the series however is hard to translate into the big screen.
    Bulma does attack Goku when they first meet, and Gohan had already died when they met. However Bulma explains what the Dragon Balls are, not "promthean" or whatever she called them. Roshi is a huge pervert and he gives Goku the Nimbus cloud. Goku is seriously stupid in the series, touching people down there to see if they're a boy or a girl. It's really freaken hilarious. Must watch. This movie, must not, unless you're a fan.