Genre: Action, adventure, comic-book adaptation
Director: James Wong
Running time: 84 mins
Released: 10 April 2009
Plot: The young warrior Son Goku sets out on a quest, racing against time and the vengeful King Piccolo, to collect a set of seven magical orbs that will grant their wielder unlimited power.
Okay, where to begin with Dragonball Evolution? Well, here’s a spoiler: THIS MOVIE SUCKS ASS!!
That sums up this film perfectly, it simply has NO redeeming qualities what-so-ever. It is one of the worst films I have ever seen and a kick in the teeth for movie-goers and especially Dragonball fans. I am going to try my best in explaining exactly why Dragonball is such a shit-fest. I knew this film was going to suck, but I was never prepared for this level of god-awful trash. The military could actually market the film as a new weapon by killing people through their TVs as viewers have brain hemorrhages trying to comprehend the ‘fail’ before them.
For starters, I think the only contact James Wong had with the original source material was probably when he bent over to wipe his ass with it. Everything in this film, from beginning to end will outrage fans of the franchise. Some examples: Goku transforms into the giant ape, but wait it’s not a huge, skyscraper-sized behemoth as was intended, in this film it’s the size of a large man, poorly animated and for some reason, Piccolo has control over it. Goku doesn’t even have his tail, so how in the hell was he able to transform in the first place? Bulma is played by Emmy Rossum who looks like a cheap slut and doesn’t even feature the blue hair save for a single streak. Piccolo (James Marsters) looks like a retarded, inebriated martian and Goku is played by Justin Chatwin, who I think owes all of the fans a huge apology for destroying such a symbolic pop culture icon. Yamcha (Joon Park) is an idiotic, criminal asshat, Chow Yun-Fat portrays some of the worst acting I have ever seen and…Ernie Hudson as Sifu Norris? Even the martial arts, the strongest point of the franchise, is utter shit and believe me when I say that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
How fucking difficult is it to make a film about a group of adventurers seeking out dragonballs and kicking ass along the way? Dragonball was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1984 through 1995, and later the 519 individual chapters were published into 42 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. FIVE HUNDRED AND NINETEEN!! There was a resevoir of source material to work with, so what the fuck happened!?
Twenty five years since the manga began and Dragonball Evolution is released in the form of a 73 minute (73 minutes of actual film time not including the world’s most anti-climatic stinger of all time) lesson on how not to make a film. So surely a ‘Dragonball’ film would have a huge budget right? Well there’s been a lot of confusion regarding the cost of this film. In January 2008, Marsters spoke to TV Guide that he was told the film had a budget of approximately $100 million. In April 2009, the Spanish television station Telecinco reported that the budget was $45 million.
The whole time throughout the film I was thinking, “where the hell did the budget go?” I mean it’s supposed to have costed like a $100 million, according to James Marsters, who was obviously doing Fox’s bidding in issuing that statement, $45 million looks like a far more accurate figure to me. This film has been marred by development hell for something like seven years, a seven year warning if you ask me, that this film should never of been made. James Marsters was a fan of the original anime series, describing it as “the coolest television cartoon in the last 50,000 years (because) it’s got a Shakespearean sense of good and evil.” Well if he was such a fan how in the hell could he ever of agreed to be part of this film? It has the production value of a cheap porno, excluding the sex and nudity so in essence it’s actually worse.
I really don’t want to continue writing this article as not only am I becoming further enraged by the subject matter, there’s simply far too many negative things to mention about the film. Consider this review to be a public service announcement: WATCH AT YOUR OWN PERIL.
Below, Dr. Cox sums up this film perfectly:
*-7 for each Dragonball that was raped in making this horrid bastardization.