Another sign of the apocalypse, Dragonball: Evolution proves yet again that not all adaptations are worthwhile. In fact, I would put this right up there with the shoddy cartoon-to-live-action category as Inspector Gadget and Mr. Magoo. The film is clearly aimed at kids, but at the same time manages to insult their intelligence as moviegoers and as human beings.
Despite fairly entertaining action sequences and stunts, the dialogue is crap, and the acting is sub-par and makes any Power Rangers movie look like an Oscar contender. How this made it to the big screen while other projects were passed up is a mystery that defies all logic and sense.
Chow Yun Fat (Pirates 3, Bulletproof Monk) hams it up nicely as a goofy mentor to the dopey Goku (Justin Chatwin; War of the Worlds, Baby Geniuses 2). As the two begin their quest for the seven Dragonballs that must be found before the next solar eclipse, things move from just campy to plain dopey. Batman & Robin had more depth and substance than this film even attempts to have.
While this is based on a Japanese comic book of the same name, I’m fairly certain that the comic book delivers a much more compelling and fun version of the story.
Look for the classic Wilhelm Scream that appears in the film. Can you find it? It will make watching this movie a bit more bearable to have something to look forward to.
A massive amount of special features are included on the DVD. These include:
Dragonball: Evolution’s fight choreographers teach you the basics of fight training for the film. Perhaps and acting coach should have been hired as well!
Brian Anthony – “Worked Up” Music Video
Fox Movie Channel Presents: Making a Scene
A look at Jamie Chung’s scene where she battles herself. How did they put it together? Watch and find out.
Fox Movie Channel Presents: Life After Film School with Justin Chatwin
See kids, if you study hard and graduate from college with a film degree, you too can act in quality films like this one.
If you need a quick diversion from studying this school year, or you and your friends want to check out how not to make a film, then Dragonball: Evolution will be well worth your time.