Dragonball Evolution Movie Review

Dragonball Evolution Poster

I finished watching the movie Dragonball: Evolution.  I had heard it was so terrible, and I ran into a mom who watched it with her 10-year-old son, and she actually found it enjoyable.

So my curiosity was piqued.  To me, the Dragonball Z story has completely confounded me.  I catch the cartoons every now and then and have absolutely no clue as to what’s going on.  As a technology and game reviewer, I find myself at a disadvantage because these games are so popular, and have penetrated every game console in existance.


Dragonball: Evolution is directed by James Wong, who has been involved with the X-files, The One, The Others, and many other popular movies and shows.  Goku is played by Justin Chatwin, and they even got Chow Yun Fat to play Master Roshi.  I don’t know any of the other actors, but Jamie Chung (who plays Chi Chi) is absolutely smoking hot.


Since I haven’t watched the cartoon series or played any of the video games previously, I was a blank slate. I’m not sure how fans of the series will feel about the live-action movie, but if I had to guess they would hate it.  This movie was made for 10-year old boys, and from what I see that demographic loves this movie.  Then again, these kids think the old “Mario Bros.” Saturday-morning-cartoon show is the best thing ever produced.  In that light, Dragonball: Evolution could have been directed by anyone and it would still make lots of money.

The storyline is a little cheesy… ok, a LOT cheesy, but that’s the whole Dragonball mythos.  As far as the screenplay goes, it had a good setup (introduction of the characters, establishment of Goku as “different” and coming to terms with things).

The acting is actually rather good, considering some of the horrible lines the actors are forced to say.  Fight sequences are also well done, and are very over-the-top a la “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, but are not as polished.  I just know I’m going to get letters by even comparing an award-winning movie with Dragonball.

The special effects definately look like they’ve had a lot of money thrown at them, thanks to a large Hollywood budget.

Overall: the movie wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, especially when you consider some of the horrible video-game-inspired turkeys that have previously graced the silver screen… even those NOT directed by Uwe Boll.

If you actually take the whole Dragonball thing seriously, then you’ll probably want to bury it like George Lucas wants to bury the Star Wars Christmas Special.

This isn’t a movie you’ll watch over and over again (unless your kids make you).  If anything, it’s worth watching just to finally understand what the eff the storyline is all about.

Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.