Reviews: Dragonball Evolution
It'd take more than a wish to straighten this film out
It's difficult to write a review about Dragonball Evolution without comparing it to it's source material, mostly because Dragonball Evolution is to Dragonball and Dragonball Z what fish sticks are to chocolate. However, tempted as I might be to mercilessly rant and rave about the changes, I won't do that, much. First things first, how come every comic/animated show-adaption and their dog has to feature an awkward high school kid whose only wish is to "get the girl." Those are, by the way, more or less the exact wording of the main character as far as motivation goes until the whole "revenge & save the world"-bag comes along. It's not that I hate awkward high school kids, it's that they make for incredibly uninteresting first acts. Also, it's an incredibly blunt way to create a hero the target audience can identify with. The story of this sad piece isn't what I'd call great either, mostly thanks to some gaping plotholes. Things like "why do the bad guy want the McGuffins in the first place" should NOT go unanswered. I mean, seriously, just one line of "and then I will be immortal/invincible/in possession of the worlds largest ice cream cone" would do wonders. Also it would be awfully nice if someone actually at one point told us that the incredible mega-powerful energy (well, wind, actually)-attack could also double as a defibrillator/magical revival device, rather than leaving a kame-hame-sized hole in the patient's chest. When it comes to characters, I'm afraid the movie also fails rather heavily. I mean, none of them are likable. Sure, the main character is one business, but his love interest is easily one of the most unlikable characters I've ever seen. Sure, there's nothing wrong with writing a character with flaws, but when their only actually positive characteristic is "she looks kinda nice, I guess," the screenwriter needs to feel ashamed of himself. Finally, the most important thing in a movie like Dragonball Evolution, namely the fight scenes. Sadly the choreography is lacking. Instead of being fast-paced, slapstick-y and actually kind of fluid like in the series, it's choppy and nearly static. Sure, copying DBZ' style probably isn't easy on film, but it certainly could be done way better than this. In short: Not worth watching by itself, but see it with a diehard DBZ fan for some fun times.
Break out the flame throwers
It takes Dragon Ball Z and takes one big shit all over it. It's that simple. Seriously. Piccolo looks like his head was taken through a grinder and attempted to be rebuilt with clay, but the guy rebuilding his face was high on LSD and decided to play around in it. Eehh....it's a big damned mess. Watch it to amaze yourself in the fact that Roshi is a middle aged man who kamehameha's Goku in the chest to bring him back to life. Yep. Brought him back to life.
The cheese stands alone
First off, I'm a big Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z fan. Still am, to this day. That being said, trying to tie this movie to the series in anyway is demeaning. It's like the idiots at Fox said "Hey, let's make a live-action movie about this incredible Japanese action cartoon and toss out everything we don't like!" Which is, to say, nearly 99% of the original plot. Now, with the bashing being done, there are SOME good things about the movie I can address. First, Chow Yun Fat as Master Roshi was possibly the best casting choice in the entire movie. He was possibly the closest to the original character out of all the cast, and I give major props for whoever chose him for the part. Second, the movie itself, if taken as a stand-alone movie that has NO connections to the beloved series, isn't that bad. YMMV, but to this troper, it was decent. Nothing noteworthy about it, and certainly not Oscar material, but it's not a bad try for a live-action version, so I can't be too harsh on it. That being said, I'd give the movie a 5.5, maybe 6, out of 10. It's not the best movie ever, but it's not the worst, either. I mean, I don't think anything can be worse than Jersey Girl.
Does it deserve the hate it gets???
The answer....yes. Yes it does. No dragonball fan should ever submit themselves to watch this movie. Unless you were suicidal. I'd complain about everything I hated in the movie and found crappy and sucky and so on....but I'll just lead you to a more epic review that covers all the basis for us. Team review on TGWTG website. Hilarious review, crappy movie ripped a new one, and strawberries.
Might as well be a fanfic.
I'm both a Dragon Ball fan and a fanfic writer (though I've never written a Dragon Ball fanfic). And while I do occasionally enjoy a high school AU story if it's well written, this movie was just unacceptable. Abd a high school AU is exactly what Evolution is. Think about it: everyone is OOC, the main character is now a high school student who hardly resembles the original character, the fight scenes suck (like how they're boring in said fanfics), and the plot is nonsensical. See the resemblance? Honestly, there's not much to watch here. It's not even fun to make fun of because it doesn't even try to stick to the source material. Besides the names of the characters and the quest for the dragon balls, there's nothing here that even resembles the source material. And since when did ki attacks become airbending? All in all, I'd avoid this movie if I were you. There's nothing remotely entertaining or interesting about it, and it's a shame to the source material. 2/10, if only because it isn't the worse movie I've ever seen. It's just boring, uninteresting, and completely forgettable.
Generic but Bad
Oh, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball, what has Dragon ball Evolution done to you? First off, they turn Goku into an angsty teenager, a stark CONTRAST to what he was in Manga and Television series. They make Piccolo sound good, but the live-action approach didn't quite work with the green alien. He just looked like a sick drug user. Goku's monkey form was just laughable, while he seemed to lack a TAIL. It wouldn't have been so bad if they explained he had it cut off or something. Roshi was endearing and entertaining, and just about the only character who was loyal to the source. Yamcha, Chi-chi and Bulma....oh dear god they were so different and depressing. Overall I found it a dissapointment of a movie, as they use some of the worse cliches in an uninspiring way. But for newcomers or people who just want some random fun the movie is for you.
Not as bad as I thought
I just finished this movie after putting it off for about a year. In short, it's nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. I'm a huge dragonball fan, so I know the source material. Do I wish that they just did a straight conversion of the manga? Yes. I do. But this is an american movie based on a japanese manga. How many of those are actually faithful to the source material? This movie is rather cheesy, but it does have some good fight scenes. It's not a masterpiece, but it could have been a LOT worse.
Gets waaaay more hate than it deserves.
First off, introductions: I'm a huge Dragonball fan. It's my favorite manga and I simply can't get enough. This movie isn't accurate to the source material, obviously. Its also not that bad a film. I actually like it. This may stem from the fact that i am a Smallvile fan (well, the first 5 seasons anyway), but I find the idea of this type of re-imagining refreshing and interesting. Sure, its not as good as the manga or anime. And yeah, its a tad light on plot. But its a fun ride. The characters are likable, (I find that I actually relate to Goku here), the story is interesting, and last but not least, the fight scenes are great. Its by know means a great film, but its not bad. I'll try to address some common complaints: There are no talking animals: I feel personally that they wouldn't have meshed with the movie all that well There is no Krillin: A valid point, although keep in mind they were planning a sequel... He's not very Goku-like: True enough, i'm afraid. This movie would have done much better if Gohan was the main character, he seems more similar to him. And, imo the most stupid complaint: He's not Asian: ??!? Goku never was Asian. He's a saiyan, remember. He doesn't even look asian in the manga. Chichi looked Asian in the manga, and guess what? she's Asian here. same with Roshi. I'll give you that Chatwin doesn't look overly Goku-like, ( he looks more like Gohan imo)but he at least resembles him. With all that said, i'd give this film 3/5 stars. Hate away.
The worst film I have seen in ten years
I was a fan of Dragonball Z when I was fifteen, but no longer consider myself one; I don't hate it now, I just consider its flaws cumbersome enough to make it unenjoyable. When I heard about a live action adaptation, I was immediately wary. I went into this film hoping that it would be a decent B-movie, or at least bad in an entertaining way. Easily the greatest failing of this movie is its writing. They clearly had some idea of what a film plot should be, because it involves every cliche action line imaginable ("You're not a normal boy," "You must remember to believe in yourself!" "No, my beloved master is dead!") The real problem is that most movies include the plot elements that cause these cliches to make sense. You'll find none of that here. People just say the "appropriate" action movie lines at the appropriate time, regardless of what has actually happened in the plot up to this point. The film also includes an amalgam of random, completely meaningless plot pieces that are discarded and never mentioned again. They clearly scripted it by throwing darts at a board. For example, Goku is told by his new master that he must master all three (?) elements. He kinda masters one, then they never mention it again. Goku loses his beloved master fully two times during the course of the film. You get the idea that this was about four scripts at one point that were artlessly merged. Oh, and the dialogue itself oscillates from laughably terrible to boringly terrible. Again, it's all strung together from cliche scripts of other films. The second greatest failing of this movie is its internal logic. You won't have to be nitpicking this thing to find enough craziness to shatter your willing suspension of disbelief. For example, the Kamehameha wave is the most powerful air technique. It is a fireball that heals people. Try and wrap your head around that. They also pointlessly call the techniques "bending" just in case you somehow believed that the writers weren't just ripping off other, better media. The last big failing is that the action isn't any good. It's the most unimaginative and uneventful wire fu imaginable. They couldn't get anything right in this film, and based on the effects they must have pissed away a fortune failing so hard. Big disappointment.