Dragonball Evolution Review

1 06 2009

This movie has been out for awhile now, and I kept putting off seeing it because I knew it would be bad.  However, I never thought it would be THAT bad.

(Continued)

First off, seeing as it is based off of an anime, it’s probably best for me as a reviewer to have seen at least a little of the original material.  I did watch a few episodes of Dragonball and found it to be Ok, but Dragonball Z was what really caught my attention.  A lot more serious, more interesting stories, and a bit better continuity.  (I actually own the entire Majinn Buu saga on VHS)  So going to this movie, I understood that it was, in fact, supposed to be funny and, jumping jelly beans, did I laugh!  Unfortunately, may of the scenes I laughed at weren’t supposed to be funny.

The actors in this movie are mostly a round up of soap opera stars, and a few that played minor characters in past movies.  Justin Chatwin, who plays Goku, was Robbie in War of the Worlds, but how important of a character was that?  So, more or less, this really is his first major role…and it shows.  His acting may be decent in a few spots, but 95% of the time it’s pretty awful.  You know those videos you see on YouTube when kids get special effects software?  Some horrible young “actor” playing with very basic effects which looks a lot like this:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJCx9j3NdjQ     Evolution has some pretty bad visual effects as well.  Everything just seems so simple and the actors just look like they’re trying to hard to make it look like they’re actually throwing around “ki”.

It does have a few easter eggs for the fans of the anime though.  When characters you would be familiar with come on, they usually chat for a few seconds before dropping their name it at the end.  (I guess it was supposed to be a surprise?)  “Blah blah blah…I’m Bulma.”  Is one of the first one’s you’ll see.

The biggest redeeming factor for this movie is the fact that it’s so dang funny.  There are a few scenes that are intentionally funny such as Master Roshi’s perverseness and a few things Yamcha says, but most of it is just a case of a movie that’s “so bad it’s funny.”  Chi-Chi (who is surprisingly hot in this film) is supposed to be some great fighter, but every time she’s brought on you can’t help but to laugh.  Some of the worst fight choreography I’ve ever seen.  Even when Goku’s Grandfather is killed I ended up chuckling because of how bad the collapsing house effects were.

In the end, if you take out all the humor of it, this movie probably deserves an F.  But since I laughed at this movie more than I laughed at any comedy movie I’ve seen in the last year, I’m gonna bump it up to a D+.  If you’re a fan of the anime at all it might be worth a peek, just don’t expect it to do for anime what The Dark Knight did for comics.

Final Grade:  D+

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