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* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic:
** The choice of Japanese singer Music/AyumiHamasaki for the theme song was one of the best decisions the movie makers made.
** Music/BrianTyler's musical score also gets a lot of praise.
* BileFascination: The film's bad word-of-mouth is precisely why people choose to watch it out of reluctance.
* ClicheStorm: There's an eclipse, an apocalyptic showdown, ancient sealed powers, an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent hero, loads of stock phrases, a ChosenOne prophecy, a generic ActionGirl in addition to a tragically dead parent figure. But eclipse, ordinary high school student, generic tough girl and prophecy aside, this [[MisBlamed isn't the fault of the adaptation]]; just about all of the rest is present in the original anime and manga. Then again, the anime didn't attempt to squeeze "all of the rest" in at once.
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** General agreement among fans is that one of the best qualities of the film (other than Brian Tyler's epic score) is the delightfully hamtastic Roshi (as played by Creator/ChowYunFat).
** [[ActionGirl Chi Chi]] too, especially after Creator/JamieChung received RetroactiveRecognition in other works.
** Creator/JamesMarsters as Piccolo also gets praise often, especially as, according to an interview, [[OneOfUs he was also a fan of the source material]]. [[VideoGame/DragonballXenoverse2 Ten years later,]] [[PromotedFanboy he would play another character for the franchise: Zamasu.]]
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: Naturally, it did well in Asia (outside of Japan where it lost to ''Anime/{{Yatterman}}''), going number one early on before dropping off. It should be noted that it was number one for several ''weeks'' at Asian box offices, and while the reception was mixed it is still rather popular and well-liked outside the US.
* HamAndCheese: James Marsters as Piccolo and Chow Yun-Fat as Roshi were ''awesome'' casting choices.
* HilariousInHindsight: As pointed out by Creator/TeamFourStar, Goku outfit in this movie is similar to what [[EvilTwin Goku Black]] would wear in [[Anime/DragonBallSuper Dragon Ball Super]]. Likewise, this wouldn't be the last time [[Creator/JamesMarsters James Marsters]] would play an antagonist in the franchise.
** Throughout the franchise, including this movie, Goku and Bulma were PlatonicLifePartners, so it's hilarious to see Justin Chatwin and Emmy Rossum play a sexually active couple in ''Series/ShamelessUS.''
** Master Roshi's house in the middle of a huge metropolis may bring to mind Carl's house from ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'', released a year later.
* JustHereForGodzilla:
** Many people in Latin America only saw the movie because Creator/MarioCastaneda and Creator/CarlosSegundo were reprising their roles as Goku and Piccolo respectively.
** Similarly, almost everyone from the Brazilian Portuguese dub (except for Roshi) returned for the movie.
* {{Narm}}:
** The line "The first rule is… there are no rules." is absolutely laughable for some because it didn't convey any sense on what is said.
** It is difficult to take the dramatic scenes seriously because of Justin Chatwin's horrible underacting.
** The bullies' insult of choice: Geeko.
** Justin Chatwin's face whenever looking dramatic just makes it look like he's taking a painful bowel movement.
** The introduction of the Dragonball locator contrives to have Bulma say the acronym DBE has a nice ring to it. You just have to shake your head at the arrogance of this little moment, like they were absolutely sure this would be some big hip thing among the fans.
* NeverLiveItDown:
** The movie itself earned a bad reputation with ''Franchise/DragonBall'' fans and generally the anime and manga fandom as a terrible Hollywood live-action adaptation of a very popular anime franchise. Because of this, the fandom would remain skeptical on Hollywood's attempt on adapting manga and anime into the big screen. The reception of ''Film/EdgeOfTomorrow'' might have changed this view but perhaps not enough.
** The writer, Ben Ramsey, ''finally'' admitted in an open letter to ''Dragon Ball'' fans that it is an OldShame of his, so much so that what little of a film career he had was utterly destroyed by the film (as his IMDB page demonstrates).
* SnarkBait: Fans of ''Dragon Ball'' just '''love''' trashing this movie. Just mentioning the film in a ''Dragon Ball'' forum post is bound to start a flame war. Even the people who worked on the English dubs of the ''Dragon Ball'' anime love to make fun of this movie at fan conventions. Critic and ''Dragon Ball'' fan Creator/ChrisStuckmann has called this his least favorite movie.
* SoBadItsGood: Most of the reactions were negative, even from those who never saw the animated series. That said, it can be [[SnarkBait enjoyable]]. A small minority think it [[SoOkayItsAverage was a decent film in its own right]], to the point it could be considered an okay film had it not had the ''Dragon Ball'' name, and as stated above, a lot of people in Asia love the film.
* SpecialEffectFailure:
** See what Goku's head collided with when grandpa Gohan knocked him off? Sure, he was falling pretty fast, but melons shouldn't be THAT soft, should they? Also in the previous scene, one of Goku's kicks didn't even touch his grandpa. [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Force_kick Force Kick]] in effect? The 2 consecutive failures can be seen in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRlMwC3Q-Do one video]].
*** In Goku's case, in the series, he was known for having a rather hard head, to the point that he got Bulma reflexively shot him in the head during their first meeting and he only berated her for hurting him.
** There's also that one scene with Goku and Piccolo in a Ki blast struggle… that ends with Goku shooting himself towards Piccolo with no propulsion whatsoever and in the same Kamehameha firing pose.
** There's also a bad case of StyrofoamRocks towards the end of the movie. You'll know it when you see it.
** And let's not get started with either the obviously fake ape suit substituting for Oozaru or the wretched CG used throughout.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZqCc82rC4c Some reviewers have noted]] that the film does have some good ideas to make a competent, well-made action-comedy, but fails to capitalize on them because of a toxic mixture of ExecutiveMeddling, shallow talent pools, and an anemic lack of ambition.
* TookTheBadFilmSeriously:
** Creator/JamesMarsters didn't appear to take his role of Piccolo too seriously in practice; however, he did give several long-winded speeches on the character's motivations, referencing Creator/WilliamShakespeare in one of them and treating the role as a CompositeCharacter of Piccolo and Kami (who were technically the same being anyway). Still, he gives a downright subtle and restrained performance compared to most everyone else in the film.
--->'''Marsters:''' He used to be a force of good, but he was imprisoned, making him very angry, and then he escapes... The cool thing is anybody who's seen Dragon Ball knows that Lord Piccolo transforms into THE Piccolo, and that is a whole other ball of wax; heroic wouldn't be the wrong term, but it's a long journey.
** Perhaps a better fit for this trope is Creator/JustinChatwin as Goku. Holding back other considerations of how his character's motivation are changed from Anime to Film, his performance of Goku as an [[IJustWantToBeNormal insecure teen]] is pretty good, even adding some character development as he becomes self-confident to the point of gaining HeroicWillpower.
* VindicatedByHistory: Downplayed. This movie was not a good first impression of actor Creator/JustinChatwin. Due to a well received guest spot as a superhero on ''Series/DoctorWho'' and his role on ''Series/ShamelessUS'', some viewers are more forgiving of his role in this movie. Some is the correct answer.
* WhatAnIdiot: Why did they spend hours in a hole when Roshi had superhuman jumping powers?
* WTHCastingAgency: Creator/ErnieHudson as a movie exclusive character, Sifu Norris.
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