Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dragonball: Evolution review

The other day I went to see Dragonball: Evolution, a "retelling" of the popular manga/anime. Did it surpass my low, yet hopeful expectations?

In short, no, it actually really sucked. What ... you wanted to hear more? OK fine, for those of you who are curious, I'll elaborate.

First off, I'd like to make note that I was never a big fan of the series. I watched Dragonball Z almost religiously when I was younger, but not all that much of the original Dragonball. Yet even with that minimal knowledge of the series, I can confidently say that this movie completely slaughters its source material.

To be honest with you, the plot appears to be ripped straight from Spider-Man. I didn't want to spoil anything from you, but come on, this had to be mentioned. It seems like somebody handed a 10 year old a pencil and told him to scribble out the plot to Spider-Man. Then they just slapped on a few Dragonball elements; and there you have it, Dragonball: Evolution was conceived.

Seriously, let me just compare here...

Goku (Peter Parker) is a nerd at school. He has a crush on the popular girl, Chi Chi (Mary Jane). His grandpa (uncle) is killed by a evil villain (criminal), then soon after he starts to train and gains great power (is bit by a spider).

Is it just me or is that a little to similar? It's the same story with less depth; a.k.a. it just plain sucks. On top of that, the characters spout some of the most ridiculously corny lines I've heard from a movie in a long time; I was cracking up every five minutes. Then adding to that, the acting makes things even worse, and acting deficiencies are especially noticeable for the role of Goku. Yes, the lead role is perhaps the worst portrayed of all the characters. Not to say any of the other characters have much to them either. They almost completely skip any attempt at developing each individual character. Goku is distraught at the thought of losing this new friend after about two minutes of even knowing them. That's just silly. I mean, I know the movie's only an hour and ten minutes or so, but I expected more than that.

Even if you manage to somehow look past all of these flaws, I doubt you'll be able to shrug off the ending. It's anti-climactic, cheesy, and complete nonsense. I don't want to spoil it for those of you still intent on seeing it, but just know that what little is holding up in the movie falls apart at the end.

Speaking of falling apart, I'd like to touch on the adaptation aspect again. It seems like the director just read half the Wiki page and ran out to make the movie. The Kamehameha is used to light candles, revive humans, and as a projectile. Anyone who is even a general fan of the Dragonball series knows this is stupid as hell. One positive point though, is that the special effects used in Dragonball: Evolution are pretty nice; a bit on the cheesy side, like the rest of the movie, but as a whole the effects where quite nice.

I had a hard time expressing my thoughts on this movie. There are just so many things wrong with the movie, and that goes to show how numerous the problems are. I just... I can't even process them correctly.

Overall Score: 4/10

To reinforce my review, Dragonball: Evolution is atrocious. That's all there is to it. The acting is bad, the script is horrible, the adaptation aspect is just really cruel to the fans. Which is a shame, considering how many big fans there are of the series . If you're looking for a stupid movie good for a few (unintentional) laughs, this might be good to catch on cable with a friend later on, but as for paying solely to see this, don't do it. If you're expecting to see a good movie version of that anime/manga you loved so much, you won't. If you're expecting a good movie, you're not getting it. Dragonball: Evolution is anything but.


Rakes said...

being a die hard DBZ fan this movie was not even fit to be called a letdown.

Ryan L. Lopees said...

It has to at least be better than Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins from the 80s. Not that that would be saying much...

I doubt this is one I will even rent. It looked to be as bad as the Street Fighter live-action movie