[[quoteright:244:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dbe_small.jpg]]

An American LiveActionAdaptation of ''Manga/DragonBall''. The trailer can be viewed [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo4t8PeqJ6E&fmt=18 here]].

Goku is a young high school student who must battle the evil space overlord Piccolo and retrieve the Dragon Balls in order to stop Piccolo's massive ape servant, Oozaru. Along the way, Goku loses his grandfather and meets an inventor named Bulma, a martial arts master named Roshi, and a bandit named Yamcha.

Overall, it wasn't received very well, being generally panned by critics and seen by most ''Dragon Ball'' fans as a prominent example of AdaptationDecay. ''Dragon Ball'''s creator, Creator/AkiraToriyama, also expressed some frustration with the final result, feeling that his input had been ignored by the producers, and told ''Dragon Ball'' fans to regard the film as an AlternateUniverse. According to TheOtherWiki, the movie grossed $30 million worldwide on its opening weekend, not quite covering its (variously reported) $30 million to $100 million budget.

Has a tie-in video game.

Not to be Confused with ''Film/DragonBallTheMagicBegins'' or ''Film/DragonBallFightForVictorySonGoku''.
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!!This movie provides examples of:
* ActionGirl: Chi Chi and Bulma, though the latter is a FauxActionGirl when it comes to her gun.
* AdaptationalBadass: Mai. In the cartoons she was an IneffectualSympatheticVillain, while in the film she's much more efficient ([[spoiler: even if she does end up being a total AntiClimaxBoss]]) and also [[AdaptationalVillainy much more evil]].
** Oddly enough, the Kamehameha Wave itself. In the series the wave was an extremely powerful energy attack limite donly by the user's power, but that was it. In the movie the wave can do basically anything. It's shown putting out and lighting fires, as well as somehow healing a character from near death.
** [[MemeticLoser Yamcha]] who isn't as prone to defeat and actually [[spoiler: landed the finishing blow on Mai]].
* AdaptationalWimp: Goku. In the cartoon he was a OneManArmy who was bulletproof, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and could easily outfight a tank. In the film, he's... well, not. He also has problems with the Kamehameha, a move he figured out after seeing it used one time in the cartoon, but which takes him all of the movie to get the hang of.
* AlternateDVDCommentary: A [[{{Rifftrax}} riff]] provided by [=TeamFourStar=] of the ''WebVideo/DragonBallAbridged'' series.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: The movie ends with [[spoiler:the main characters heading off to look for the Dragon Balls again.]]
* AntiClimax: Piccolo creates several creatures to fight the heroes. [[spoiler:It takes the heroes about 10 seconds to defeat them. Then, Mai shows up. She takes another 3 seconds.]]
* AscendedExtra: Mai was originally just a minor character who was a henchwoman to second-rate villain Pilaf. She also becomes an AdaptationalBadass.
* BadassGrandpa: Gohan.
* BadassNormal: Yamcha and Bulma, though they do almost nothing of consequence compared to Goku.
* BeamOWar: Sort of.
* BetaCouple: Yamcha and Bulma.
* BloodMagic
** Piccolo creates creatures from his blood.
** Mai steals a sample of Chi-Chi's blood to take her form.
* TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive: Poor Grandpa Gohan.
* CleavageWindow: Although Mai mostly has adequate protective gear, she leaves her chest unprotected. [[FanService Huh.]]
* CompositeCharacter: Goku and Chi-Chi could just as well have been called Gohan and Videl.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Goku ''hops across'' a lava flow by using Mook bodies as stepping stones.
** [[FridgeBrilliance Goku's]] MadeOfIron [[FridgeBrilliance though.]]
* ConvenientlyTimedAttackFromBehind: Mai is chasing Bulma and about to deal a killing blow when [[spoiler: Yamcha shoots her from behind]]. A deleted, alternate version of that scene actually has her [[spoiler: impaled by shrapnel, but still taken out by Yamcha]].
* [[DangerousSixteenthBirthday Dangerous Eighteenth Birthday]]
* DeadlyDodging: When Goku is confronted by a couple of bullies at the big party, he informs them that he promised he wouldn't fight them - before smoothly allowing the bullies to beat the crap out of each other and the head bully's very expensive car.
* DeadPersonConversation: [[spoiler: Goku has a conversation with his grandfather after Mai shoots him with a ray gun and leaves him near-death.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Bulma
* DesignatedGirlFight
** In the only tournament fight shown, Chi Chi is fighting Mai. These are, most likely, the only two female participants. They later fight again, when Mai has taken Chi Chi's form.
** During the final battle, Bulma must fight Mai alone for the Dragon Ball.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Goku takes on Piccolo, [[InformedAbility who is hyped all movie long as an extremely powerful badass]]. [[AntiClimax He isn't]].
* [[DroppedABridgeOnHim Dropped A House On Him]]: The sad fate of [[spoiler:Gohan]].
* TheEndOrIsIt: [[spoiler: The last shot of the film shows us that [[BigBad Piccolo]] has survived Goku's attack and is now being nursed back to health by a woman who's life he spared earlier in the film.]]
* EverybodyWasKungFuFighting: Most of the bullies use the usual assortment of [[GoodOldFisticuffs punches you'd expect from untrained jocks]]. The one Asian in the group, though, adopts a fighting stance and tries to use a flying kick.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: True to the source material, Oozaru is a giant monkey.
* FightingFromTheInside: After being transformed into Oozaru, Roshi, with his dying breath, manages to get through to Goku and get him to change back to his old self.
* FirstGirlWins: Chi Chi for Goku.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: Goku is choleric, Yamcha is sanguine, Roshi is melancholic and Bulma is phlegmatic.
* GratuitousJapanese: Mai has a scene that's all in (subtitled) Japanese.
* GunsAkimbo: Bulma. Shame she [[ATeamFiring misses]] [[ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy everything]] [[FauxActionGirl she shoots at]].
** ImprobableAimingSkills cutting both ways?
* HighSchoolAU: No, seriously.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: At the beginning, Goku cares more about dealing with bullies and getting with Chi Chi than with his kung fu-ing.
** Which is a complete 180 to the source material, where Goku cares only about fighting and can barely comprehend the fact that he's engaged to Chi Chi without her sitting him down and explaining it to him.
* InNameOnly: The movie has ''some'' elements in common with the original manga, such as the presence of Goku and a girl named Bulma who are in search of the seven [[MacGuffin Dragon Balls]]. But nearly everything else is heavily modified from the original canon. Goku went from a twelve-year old [[ChasteHero Chaste]] WildChild to a sixteen-year old negative High-Schooler who wants to get with a girl. He learns the Kamehameha too late, and is too serious to even be considered the same character. Amd Krillin, a highly important character in the original, was cut out (While [[FunnyAnimal Oolong and Puar]] may be understandable). Bulma and [[AscendedExtra Mai]] go the other way and TookALevelInBadass. It was declared CanonDiscontinuity by Toriyama.
* InvisibleToNormals: Ki attacks
* ISurrenderSuckers: Bulma tries this with Mai.
* JerkJock: One of the guys who bullies Goku at school.
* KamehameHadoken
* KidsAreCruel: The JerkJock tries to run Goku down with his car.
* LargeHam: Master Roshi and Piccolo.
* LittleMissBadass: Chi Chi
* MoneyDearBoy: See HamAndCheese.
* NecessaryDrawback: Roshi tries to seal Piccolo again, even though it sucks out his life force. [[SenselessSacrifice It doesn't work]].
* NoSell: When Mai takes on Goku, she lands a solid punch to his face. Goku [[MadeOfIron doesn't seem to notice]].
* NotWhatItLooksLike: All Goku can say when Roshi catches him in his house.
* NotScreenedForCritics: Both American and Japanese.
* OpenMouthInsertFoot: When Chi Chi reveals that she knows of the existence of ki and states that her name doesn't mean she's an idiot, Goku proceeds to embarass himself this way.
* OvershadowedByAwesome: In lieu of Krillin, Yamcha and Bulma.
* PlotInducedStupidity: Piccolo is shown crushing a ''house'' with his mind. Later, when a Dragon Ball rolls out of his grasp, why doesn't he mind-grab it?
** It also doesn't make any sense as to why he dropped a house on Gohan instead of questioning him about the Dragon Ball.
%% Please see the discussion page before another round of deleted and replace for PragmaticAdaptation -- FastEddie
* PragmaticAdaptation: Let's face it, the original ''Dragon Ball'' manga and anime would be just too damn ''weird'' to make into an American film.
** Though that's something like FridgeLogic since the ''Dragon Ball'' anime -has- been shown in the US for quite some time. While one could say that it might be too goofy for the mainstream (though there are goofy movies like ''Film/TheNeverendingStory'' or ''Film/{{Beetlejuice}}'' that made it to the mainstream), the '''only''' reason one would make a DB movie (as opposed to some other non-branded martial arts flick) would be to cash in on the name recognition.
** Roshi in particular played up his "goofy mentor" role and played down his "perverted old man" personality. He still has his porn stash and managed a PG rated feel-up on Bulma, but requesting a PantyShot would be a bit too much.
*** Observant tropers may have noticed his t-shirt, with a sexy anime girl in it.
** There's also the fact that the original ''Dragon Ball'' anime and manga were very "animated", and wouldn't work too well in live action. Doing an animated film of some kind would've worked much better. The series itself had been very popular in the US for almost a decade beforehand, though doing a film while the series was popular would've been a better idea (it was past it's prime in 2008).
** While a lot of details of the story are basically unfilmable in a mainstream live-action film, the fact that the story changes characters personalities so wildly is one of the things that keeps it from being accepted. Adaptations of american comic books change details often to make the story flow better (such as the Spider-Man movies making his transformation a result of genetic engineering, as opposed to radiation), but the personalities and motivations of the characters are kept largely consistent.
* RaceLift: In the original, everyone was [[{{Mukokuseki}} vaguely Japanese]]. In this movie, the two leads are white and everyone else is Asian.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Goku's kept changing color [[spoiler: after his transformations into Oozaru form]].
* TheReveal: It's no real shocker to those who are DB fans [[spoiler: but Goku and Oozaru are one and the same]].
* SchizoTech
* SealedEvilInACan: Piccolo is originally bound up in a jar, but escapes offscreen. Subverted, sort of, when Roshi later tries to trap him again, Piccolo fights his way out.
* SequelHook: See AndTheAdventureContinues and TheEndOrIsIt
* ShoutOut:
** The Dragonballs have the added ability to [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings make Goku see horrible things if he touches them.]] For bonus points, the old master (Roshi) wraps it in cloth to prevent this.
** There are actually a TON of references to the original series including (but no limited to):
*** Goku makes mention of a race called "Nameks"
*** Gohan finding Goku in a crater
*** Goku eating a large chunk of meat off the bone
*** Goku being forced to train while wearing a large, heavy backpack
*** Goku's bike resembles the one Gohan rides in the opening to several episodes after the Cell saga
*** Speaking of, Goku's entire high school schtick early in the film resembles Gohan's Saiyaman arc in the anime.
*** Goku's hair: while preparing for the party (where he confronted the bullies), he spends some time styling it only to have it snap back into exactly its normal form, complete with sound effect.
*** Piccolo's ship looks like one often used by Emperor Pilaf
*** Piccolo giving life to creatures from his own body
*** The World Martial Arts Tournament
*** Roshi's collection of porn
*** Roshi's (mildly) pervy behavior
*** Roshi's terrible hawaiian shirts
*** The jar Roshi attempts (and fails) to seal Piccolo in
*** The Wish [[spoiler: being used to revive Master Roshi]]
*** Bulma's capsule cars
*** Chi Chi's house resembling a giant castle
*** A quick reference to "chi chi" being Japanese for "boobs" ("Just because my name is Chi Chi doesn't mean I'm an idiot"). In the manga, Master Roshi goes off muttering at one point about how the name Chi Chi would be better suited for the larger-chested Bulma.
* SpotTheImposter: Goku had to do this when Mai disguised as Chi-Chi fights the Real Chi-Chi. He ends up knocking the real Chi-Chi out and only realizes his mistake when he sees the cut on her arm that Mai had inflicted on her during their earlier match.
* StockScream: of the Wilhelm variety.
* StockSubtitle: "Evolution".
* StockFootage: [[FreezeFrameBonus Paying close attention]] during Goku's "premonitions" whenever he acquires a Dragon Ball reveals that the movie uses a fair amount of stock footage. Examples include {{Film/Armageddon}} and Film/IndependenceDay.
* SwissArmySuperpower: The Kamehameha Wave, for some reason. In the source material it was purely an attack move, but in the movie we see it light and extinguish fires, and even heal a person from near death.
* TotalEclipseOfThePlot: Goku and the gang must acquire all the Dragonballs before an upcoming solar eclipse, when Oozaru will return and join Piccolo. When said eclipse appears, [[spoiler: Goku transforms into Oozaru]].
* TournamentArc: Averted; it looks like the World Martial Arts Tournament, but it has a different name, Goku doesn't fight in it, and it's barely shown.
* WakeUpGoToSchoolSaveTheWorld: The first chunk of the movie is focused on Goku's conflicts with school bullies. If your name was Goku and you lived way the hell outside the rest of the city with some creepy old dude who told you stories about aliens called Nameks, you'd get picked on too.
* WordSaladTitle: ''Dragonball '''Evolution'''''.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Averted, as Bulma in the original story was conspicuously a blunette. In some scenes she's got one lock dyed blue, likely as a nod to the original.
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