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

An American LiveActionAdaptation of ''Manga/DragonBall'' produced by Creator/TwentiethCenturyFox. 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.

So, what does this actually have to do with ''Dragon Ball''? Well, the dragon balls appear in the film, the characters have the names of ''Dragon Ball'' characters, and the dragon balls give the holder absolute power, and.....that's about it.

Has a tie-in video game.

Not to be Confused with ''Film/DragonBallTheMagicBegins'' or ''Film/DragonBallFightForVictorySonGoku''.

Compare ''[[Film/GSaviour G-Saviour]]'' and ''Film/TheLastAirbender''.
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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:
** Bulma is briefly able to keep up with Goku and point her gun at his head even when he uses his speed.
*** She's even playable in the video game adaptation!
** Mai. In the anime and manga 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 limited only 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.
** Yamcha who isn't as prone to defeat and actually [[spoiler: landed the finishing blow on Mai]].
** The Kamehameha is given the power to heal, which it didn't have [[Manga/DragonBall in the original series]].
* AdaptationalDyeJob: Played with in terms of Yamcha. Like his manga counterpart, he does indeed have naturally black hair, but appears to have dyed it blonde InUniverse.
** Bulma's once blue and or purple hair is reduced to a single streak on fully brunette hair.
* AdaptationExpansion: The surprisingly-decent video game of the film takes a few chances to expand upon the film and throw in a few more elements from the actual franchise. [[spoiler: In particular, in the secret bonus chapter of the story, Piccolo returns in a very Lord Slug-esque form of "Neo Piccolo", and as he dies for good, he utters a curse at Goku's true identity as a Saiyan. Even as the chapter closes, Chi-Chi mentions a new technique, jokingly stating it would be "a beam from her forehead".]]
* AdaptationalWimp: The whole level of power is reduced in the movie, probably to make it easier to film. Here's some specific examples:
** Goku. In the anime and manga 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 anime and manga, but which takes him all of the movie to get the hang of.
*** The Oozaru is also much smaller and less destructive than it was ever depicted in the manga.
** Piccolo. In the anime and manga, Goku was almost killed by Piccolo once and only defeated him after having most of the bones in his body broken. In the movie, he goes down from a single punch.
** Yamcha. While, as stated in AdaptationalBadass, he isn't as prone to being defeated, he also doesn't seem to posses Manga Yamcha's vastly superhuman abilities.
* AdaptedOut: The movie seems to be mostly an adaptation of the Demon King Piccolo arc of the manga with a little bit of Goku's backstory added in, so they could safely excise any of the bit characters from the other arcs. But still some major players in the DKP arc are still left out, Like Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu, and perhaps most egregiously, Krillen.
* AlternateDVDCommentary: A [[Podcast/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.]]
* AnimeHair: Goku features a more {{downplayed}} realistic spin on this.
* 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, Noku here can also be called [[Comicbook/SpiderMan Peter Parker]].
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Goku ''hops across'' a lava flow by using Mook bodies as stepping stones. Granted Goku is MadeOfIron but his friends, who aren't standing too far from the lava themselves, are not.
* 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: [[spoiler: Grandpa Gohan dies on Goku's 18th 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.
* EarthDrift: {{Inverted}}, if the PSP video game is anything to go by: it is stated that unlike the completely fictional Earth in ''Dragon Ball'', Dragonball Evolution's Earth is in fact our world in the future.
* 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.
* {{Expy}}: To an extent, this version of Goku is an expy of Clark Kent from Series/{{Smallville}}. Both are younger, angstier versions of classic superheroes, who, in the adaptation, [[IJustWantToBeNormal don't even want their super powers]] and pine after a specific girl until they gradually accept their role as hero.
* 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.
* ForgotAboutHisPowers: Piccolo demonstrates telekinesis powerful enough to crush a house, but never uses it again, even to try to retrieve a Dragonball that was rolling away.
* 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.
* TheGreys: Demon King Piccolo more resembles a green colored one of these than the sluglike Namekian of the manga and anime
* GunsAkimbo: Bulma. Shame she [[ATeamFiring misses]] [[ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy everything]] [[FauxActionGirl she shoots at]].
* HighSchoolAU: In stark contrast to the source material, where Goku is mostly uneducated, Goku's high school life actually plays a fairly significant part in the movie's first act.
* HydraProblem: The minions Piccolo creates with his blood will spawn from any piece of them cut off. Goku beats them by throwing them into lava.
* 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. 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, which is why the presence of ki masters like Grandpa Gohan and Muten Roshi goes unnoticed by the rest of the world. Again, this is in contrast to the source material where (prior to Dragonball Z's Cell Saga) the world is well aware that ki is a real thing.
* ISurrenderSuckers: Bulma tries this with Mai.
* JerkJock: One of the guys who bullies Goku at school.
* KamehameHadoken: Naturally, given the movie is an adaptation of one of the {{Trope Namer}}s. Amusingly, Goku's use of it throughout the film resembles the Hadoken more than the Kamehameha from the anime and manga.
* KidsAreCruel: The JerkJock who tries to run Goku down with his car.
* LargeHam: Master Roshi and Piccolo.
* LetsYouAndHimFight: Goku and Bulma have a confrontation when they first meet. Goku thinks she's the one who murdered Grandpa Gohan, while she thinks he stole her "Promethium Orb" (Dragonball).
* LittleMissBadass: Chi Chi is a teenaged girl who takes part in martial arts tournaments.
* MaliciousMisnaming: The school bullies call Goku "Geeko".
* 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]].
* NotQuiteDead: In the post-credits SequelHook, [[spoiler:Piccolo is revealed to have survived]].
* NotWhatItLooksLike: All Goku can say when Roshi catches him in his house.
* 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 embarrass himself this way.
* OvershadowedByAwesome: In lieu of Krillin, Yamcha and Bulma get this treatment.
* 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.
* RaceLift: The movie got a lot of flak by casting white Justin Chatwin as Goku, with fans claiming that Goku is supposed to be Asian. Most defenders noted that race in ''Dragonball'' is more along the lines of human/demon/alien (and Goku is an alien). Bulma is played by the white Creator/EmmyRossum, and Creator/JamesMarsters[='=] Piccolo is under so much makeup it doesn't ''really'' matter. Besides that, all of supporting characters (Master Roshi, Chi Chi, Yamcha, Mai, Grandpa Gohan) ''are'' played by Asian actors.
* 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.
* SequelHook: In a post-credits sequence, [[spoiler:Piccolo is shown to have survived]].
* 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.
** Ki attacks are referred to as "[[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender airbending]]".
** Goku has posters for ''Film/ShaolinSoccer'' and ''Johnny Tsunami'' on his wall.
* 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: Partway through the movie Chi-Chi defeats a Wilhelm during her training.
* 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 old dude who told you stories about aliens called Nameks and ki powers that no one else can see, you'd get picked on too.
* WhamLine: In the videogame, [[spoiler: Neo Piccolo]] drops a rather important word as he perishes.
--> ''It's unthinkable... I regained my powers...only to lose to some punk... [[spoiler: Filthy...Saiyan...]]''
* WhiteMaleLead: Goku is the only major character who is Caucasian and just so happens to be the one who saves the day.
* WordSaladTitle: ''Dragonball '''Evolution'''''.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Surprisingly 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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