Quickcard Review Dragonball: Evolution
Directed by: James Wong Cast: Justin Chatwin, Jamie Chung, Chow Yun Fat, Emmy Rossum Running Time: 1 hr 40 mins Rating: PG
Plot: A young man (Chatwin) trained in super martial arts must stop an ancient evil force from ending the world.
Who’s It For? Tweenage boys and their complacent chaperons/parents. Fans of the series will likely be disappointed, especially those who watched "Dragonball Z" on TV like this guy.
Expectations: "Do we need this movie?" "Have we ever wanted this movie?" "Will I get reimbursed for seeing this?" A big whopping "no" to all the above.
As far as adaptations that should never exist in the first place go, there have been worse. Like the best of the worst, Dragonball: Evolution was never really asked for by fans. In fact, the film is being rejected more than accepted by fans. And even more fans are too busy disregarding its entire existence to even reject it. But still, this is no super disaster like that Mario Bros. movie with Bob Hoskins (even he agreed that sucked). This is just another lame cotton candy consolidation that seems to please outsiders (i.e kids) more than the particular series' actual fan base.
Dragonball can't fight its way out of disparity because even that part disappoints. The Dragonball series at a basic core offers intense, over the top hand-to-hand combat that is mixed with "Spirit Bombs" and things like that. This feature film actualization fails to offer much of that fun. There is indeed action (PG to the max!) but it becomes excite-less and repetitive. Watching Goku and super-villain Piccolo throw super-air at each other can only keep me awake for so long.
Probably the element most accurate with this adaptation is Dragonball's cartoon-y aspect. (Yes, the one guy who will read this, I know this particular film was based on the novel but my background with "Dragonball" is based solely on what was shown on Cartoon Network). The characters (Goku, played by a white bro or Bulma, played by a purdy Emmy Rossum) are still goofy as sin, despite tackling serious issues such as the end of the world. In general Dragonball: Evolution maintains a light air even in its "dark" moments. The universe could be on the brink of destruction, a main character could die, and it's all book-ended by a level of cheesiness that the film originally encourages, but loses control of.
The film's title is a mystery. Inside and outside of this film, nothing has changed. The only thing that seems to differ with the actual Dragonballs in the film is ownership. Sometimes good people have them, sometimes its the bad guys. But on the outside, everything is the same. Like the not so Legendary Chun Li, (or any other modern adaptation), Dragonball: Evolution loses it's heavy glow at inception, flickers for moviegoers unfamiliar with the actual roots, and will inevitably fade out in awkward matinee scheduling not even two weeks after release. Talk about getting "Dragon-balled."
Final Score: 4/10