Adopting a long-running manga with countless fan, especially one that many guys my age are grown up with, one that designed by one Akira Toriyama whose character designs are well known (and much loved), and brought them from its fantasy origin to a world resembling our shady and uninteresting world we called “reality” is a challenge. One that is not easy to accomplish and destined to fail miserably if done half-heartedly. On this account alone, Dragonball Evolution is a snorefest at best. In fact, it is probably the first film in a long time that prompted me (and my wife) to just abandon the film at a mere thirty minutes into the film.
Issues of adaptation problem aside, this film is emotionless, not really funny (aw scratch that, it’s NOT funny AT ALL), bad acting all over, and has everything that the manga don’t and I mean it in a very very veerrryyyy bad way.
The film begins with a brief history of the world as seen from the Dragonball Evolution universe perspective. Some 2000 years ago an evil entity Piccolo and his beastly minion, Oozaru laid destruction on Earth, countless have died until an order of monks (or something) sealed Piccolo away (meanwhile, and it’s rather puzzling, Oozaru isn’t sealed, and was let on the loose until finally “forgotten”) and now, we see Piccolo atop some flying vessel, healthy and clearly not stowed away in a prison somewhere beneath the Earth as he’s supposed to be (the how and why are left to viewer’s imaginations), on a hunt for a mystic balls called the dragonballs.
This intro is delivered swiftly in matter of minutes, plenty of colors, explosions and what’s not. Now if you had seen many films, you’ll know that this swift narration at the beginning is rarely work and mostly style only and no substance. Upon seeing this intro alone, I was immediately thought, “Oh, no. This is going to be so bad.” And indeed it is.
It is understandable that to squeeze a multi-arcs story like Dragon Ball into a 90-minute time frame would left many aspect of the original story sawed and hacked. But that was the least of my problem. The script was horrible, the dialog deliveries were flat-out terrible, the one-liner sucker punch is at its best, only an eyebrow rising, and in my opinion, worse of all, the character’s motivations to drive forward the plot is virtually non-existent. I mean, it could be said that the real motivation behind these bunch of youngsters to oppose an evil entity was ranging from a mere nod to the word “Okay, let’s do it.” And what the hell is supposed to mean with Bulma’s excessive make-up? If it’s intentional, please let me know for I’m lost at its merit.
My rating: – / **** A failure on everything. Well, kids seems to enjoy it, though and by I means with “kids” are those below 5 years of age.