Dragonball Evolution Review

Thanks for checking out our Dragonball Evolution review.


Goku sets out on a mission to find the remaining legendary Dragonballs at his adoptive grandfather Gohan’s dying request. Joined by Master Roshi and Bulma, he encounters the evil Lord Piccolo who is also looking for the Dragonballs to take over the world. Legend tells that collecting all eight Dragonballs will grant the collector one perfect wish. Its a pretty basic story. They both want the power to accomplish something great, but the badguy wants it for bad, and the goodguy wants it to stop the badguy.


Ouch. How do I spell this out. It’s like getting an ugly sweater from your favourite aunt. Here I am expected to write something good about this and I have to do it without trying to sound like I am just being nice.

Honestly, some moments of the action was pretty decent, and the visuals on the tech were pretty well done. The Jetson’s fold-a-bike was awfully nifty and it sure beat the hell out of a floating cloud. Marsters’ Piccolo was menacing and evil. If I didn’t already know I wouldn’t have guessed that it was Marsters playing him.

Other than that I can honestly say they did a good job attempting to please the fans and give them what they wanted while still making the necessary adaptions to the big screen. Not that I feel they accomplished that, but they did make an effort to try.


The limited amount of things I had to say were good about the movie just means I could spend all day talking about what was bad.

Emmy Rossum, easily my favourite of all the actors on this screen was just dry and emotionless. Her attempts to portray a cold tough chick gunslinging treasure hunter just came across as flat and unappealing (two things I would never think could be associated with Rossum). This girl has a smile that can light up a room and it just wasn’t used nearly enough. And Chow Yun-Fat is usually much better than this, and I can’t believe they talked him into all that silly dialouge. Embarrassing.

But most of all I found this movie to be purely un-enjoyable just because it was un-enjoyable. Fans will be quick to label every last inconsistency with the cartoon or manga to try and cut down this production. Hell they even make up stuff that doesn’t matter to cut it down. But fact remains that even just looking at this film from a pure action adventure flick, the movie falls short.

There was no suspense, tension or worry ever presented. Even the teen angsty crush seemed empty. I was never on the edge of my seat wondering if the hero will prevail – even though you know that’s a foregone conclusion, building a sense of impending doom would be nice.

I judged this movie as a movie, not that it was an adaptation. I tried to enjoy it as a stand alone film that didn’t require you to have previous knowledge of the franchise.

Perhaps it relied TOO much on its fanbase which appeared to be its target audience, despite how the trailers indicating this would be a small departure from the cartoon and deliver solid action and adventure.


All Dragonball continuity complaints aside, this movie just doesn’t make for a good adventure film at all. Some action in very small glimpses. Some really decent visuals. Poor everything else. I was originally all up for seeing this, but after some preview footage, I lost all hope. I don’t think it sucks for the reasons the fanboys are hating on it for, I think it just sucks. Period.

I was expecting a popcorn flick, but all I enjoyed was my popcorn.

With its staggering $25m already gathered in overseas markets, and its estimated $6million in North American markets, I would be utterly shocked if this $50million budgeted film gets the sequel they apparently already wrote for it. It just might if they figure they can lure people into the more popular Dragonball Z storyline?

Overall I give Dragonball Evolution a 2 out of 10.

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138 thoughts on “Dragonball Evolution Review

  1. I’m a huge DB fan and let’s face it, it’s extremely hard to make a live action adaptation out of an anime series. I know they had to make drastic changes and while I didn’t like them I see why they did it. I could see where they were going with the movie and it had potential, but it felt so undeveloped. It’s like they stopped trying after a while. It looked like they were going the campy road, but it turned out to be bad. I hope this gets rebooted, but that’s wishful thinking. Plus the marketing was horrible with this movie. I didn’t know there was a live action DB movie until it came out on DVD.

  2. i was extremely disappointed cause any true dragon ball fan knows this was all some bull an on top of that who in there right mind would spend all that money on a movie an not narrate it right. i have loved dragon ball since the begging to the end to GT . But then again I’m just another critic right lol :^) some times you just never know who is who now a days but wish i could say more .thanks for reading

  3. ok people! this is a movie! movie will never! resemble there orginial source! i thought this movie was good. the high school fight scene, was funny! its a turning point, were he stops putting up with bullies! ive seen all the DBZ episodes and DBGT. but i will not sit here and compare every aspect of the movie with the series! its an hour and half movie! you cant fit all of the dragonball universe in there. if your not a die hard fan go see the movie. its good, its funny, and chi-chi is down right hot! if your a die hard fan dont go see it.

  4. Ok for 1, i thought this was a forum for the movie, not krillin?
    For 2, this movie plain sucked.
    For 3, if you havent watched this movie yet, have some respect for yourself and for the DBZ and DB series and dont go see it.

  5. We make plenty sense to eachother. You’re the one that doesn’t seem to get it. And if being there for the star of the series, and triggering him into CRITICAL events in the sagas isn’t important….i don’t know what is. For you to argue that those points AREN’T important, is ignorance and stubborness. You say for us to make a point that makes “sense”( to you.) Let’s say we did, in your eyes…[for the rest of you] Do you think Rodney would admit it? lol seriously doubt his maturity level is there yet.
    Put it this way, take Krillin out of all the sagas, tell me some of the stories would play out the same. They wouldn’t. You know, I know, we all know they wouldn’t.

    1. You make plenty of sense to each other because there will always be people that surround themselves with those who tell them what their itching ears want to hear.

      Those points are NOT important and the story would still have played out the same without him.

      It is your stubbornness that wants to lay more responsibility for this character than even the most die hard fanboy doesnt care about.

      That his death triggered him into ONE specific event just means that without him, they would have killed of some other unimportant character that simply had value to HIM. That is what you don’t get. Krillin wasn’t important, the emotional peak that changed him was. You want them to tag along this nobody through the whole movie just to say he dies 3 chapters later? Sorry.

      And yes, I am plenty mature to admit my errors, for you to claim otherwise claims a level of familiarity you have not earned. Clearly you know nothing about me.

      I am not convinced this character that Dragonball sites call minor and secondary had any place at all in this adaptation.

  6. i agree with isaiah to start the movie off with the tournament fight wouldve been kick ass plus the whole krillin not being important well rodney just to base facts Krillin is the best friend of Goku. They met when Krillin came to Turtle island to ask Master Roshi to train him. Krillin is bald and has 6 dots on his head, which was a requirement of the cult he left. He dies twice at the hands of Piccolo and Frieza. He later marries Android 18 and has a daughter named Maron also krillin is a trigger why goku turned in super sayian if it wasnt for his death goku wouldve never defeated freeza also krillin help train gohan nd always helped out in every saga even if he got his ass kicked but besides da whole point of krillin not bein in the movie dbe was a waste of money nd rodney jus stick 2 watching xmen movies cuz this seems like its not ur cup of tea plus the whole dragonball z fanbase couldve put a better movie togethe rif anything they shouldve jus stuck with another anime movie of dragonball that wouldve been much better but like im sayin is all the actors sucked .. master roshi wore a pair of sunglasses nd was kinda hunchback plus bulma didnt have purple hair like i explained b4 nd yamcha i dnt even wanna get started ..

  7. this movie actually sucked ass .. 1st the whole thing about goku not havin a tail is stupid nd bulma not havin purple hair also gohan ( goku’s) grandpa didnt die by picolo but instead by goku wen he turned into dat giant ape .. also yamcha wtf dat was a weak actor playin yamcha plus no krillin…!!! i was dissapointed 100% in this movie i expected more but wat do u expect wen 20th century fox is makin da movie??? they could actually went and did it by the actual anime story line den mayb they wouldve had a box office hit not only with the people but with the actual dragonball z fanz

  8. wow. after skimming through all of these replies, its easy to see how some felt about the movie. If they had stuck to the original story, it would have been more interesting. Having Bulma carry guns was a mistake, and the fight scenes were way too short. Goku going to school was a good twist, like they were trying to modernize the time period.

    Goku should have had his tail and the Oozaru should have been huge like the cartoon. If you gonna do it, do it right. Also, the Kamehameha is not a healing technique, so if Master Roshi used that on Goku in the manga, the movie would have ended a half an hour early.

    Piccolo and Roshi were the only characters that came out pretty good. The MaFu Ba scene felt rushed though and so did the final showdown with Piccolo. Another thing that bothered me was that Piccolo knew that Goku was a Saiyan, which he never knew about in the manga. And the fact that they found all the dragonballs in 15 minutes was whack too.

    All in all, if they want to adapt a movie to the big screen, stay as close to the original story. That way you can blow the movie out the box office and clean up the millions. They didn’t even advertise this movie. I saw no billboards or pictures or anything, I heard about it through word of mouth. They must have known that this movie was gonna tank beforehand. Even the Vin Diesel movie The Pacifier had a rotating trailer and that movie was trash for him to do.

    1. trust me they had to changet the size of the oozaru so it wouldnt be a king kong ripoff, and its kinda hard to see a teenage boy transform into a giant age

  9. I havnt seen this movie ONLY its trailer and its review’s BUUUUT i DONT think im goona see it NOW!
    The thing that i’m sure SOOOO many people are pissed about is “THERE ” its been made!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS SHIT is it! GONE are the thoughts and hopes that a live action BIG budget version of the much loved cartoon would OR could actually be some BAD ASS “HARDCORE” mindblowing SOMEHOW made REAL (tho filled with magic and powers an shit) MASTER PIECE of a film! THOSE HOPES ARE GONE! unless SOMEHOW it gets the HULK treatment and another movie is made and you are suposed to forget the first PATHETIC attempt!

  10. The movie could have been better, for me they only concentrated in creating a dragon ball movie.. its like they just made the movie because they know that a dragon ball movie will be catchy and intriguing. They did do the movie because they want to make a great movie, a movie to be remembered. They just did it for money.

    The movie was all compressed in just one and a half hours therefore making the story quite lame and the narration was so bad. The movie was so fast phased. They didn’t tell the story of Goku in an entertaining manner..the movie just gave me a taste of every thing. A little comedy, a little action, a little love story. JUST A LITTLE!! In addition, the story line was greatly changed and fight scenes were boring and lacks excitement. i don’t really know why it ended up this way, maybe they have no budget.. i don’t really know. If it where a movie with a different title i would give it 6/10 but for it to be titled “DRAGON BALL”, its score would be 3/10.

  11. uuuuuughhhh my childhood is goooone :´(.
    I dont understand why the people deffend this movie its a crap i dont now you dont want to do a movie about the manga perfect dont do it. its just another hollywood silly waste of time:
    !wow we need bubbies and a kiss!!! lets do it
    !we need special effects!!! lets do it

    then another guy says: hey we need the original story the manga story!!! thats not going to sell but their names will… everybody shouts (seeeeeell).Goku in highschool!!!!! PLEASE WHY DID YOU KILLED MY CHILDHOOD?

  12. To Rodney:

    To put in simpler words, fans just got surprised at the idea of Krillin not being in the film, that is simply all. Wouldn’t you be surprised, OR EVEN CURIOUS at all (even just a little???) if they randomly ditched one prominent protagonist in a movie adaptation of a/an anime/book/comic ???

  13. To Rodney:

    Fans are complaining about Krillin not being in the film not because they know he’s a major character, nor is it because they think he serves a major role in the story; they are complaining because the Dragonball they knew very well by heart had Krillin in it (who is one of the consistent and prominent protagonists set by Sir Akira Toriyama himself; take note i did not use the term “important” since you bash it too much), and this movie looks like they simply ditched him apathetically. By “apathetically” i mean the creators didn’t show care for the fans’ love for the series, at least that’s what it looks like to us fans. That’s just the simple point in it, nothing more nothing less. They just reacted to it negatively and that is all. You do not have to tell people about how “fanboys” complain too much.

  14. I am really tired of Hollywood taking a close and favorite franchise from the fans and totally raping it. They did it with Resident Evil and now they did it with Dragonball.

    Fact is, the series is rich in characters, culture, story and plot. They could have easily adapted the original story line and plot from the series to the big screen and it would have been just fine. Instead they twisted it all around and made something, not only the fans will dispise, but something that even your average Joe nobody will hate.

    If it weren’t for the fans in the first place, the Dragonball franchise wold have never been popular enough to warrant so many games, cartoons and comics. They should have just done it the right way and stayed true to the series and made the fans happy in the process.

    Final Fantasy Advant of children is a good example of how to do a fan favorite movie right. It was nothing but pure fan service, it was what Final Fantasy 7 was about and most FF7 fans loved it. Final Fantasy the Spirit Within was a good example of how to do a fan favorite movie wrong. The fans hated it and the non-fans hated it.

    1. Final Fantasy was a dead flop. Looked amazing, and was bashed by the critics as being all effects and no story.

      Sorry. You shot yourself in the foot saying that they are raping your favourite franchises and saying if they did it right it would be like a beautiful effects movie with no plot.

    2. Doesn’t matter. The point is, even though the stupid, known nothing, dick eating critics didn’t like it, the fans loved it. With Dragonball Evo, everyone hated it.

  15. sucked. sucked. sucked. sucked. sucked. sucked.

    Marsters was good as Piccolo but the rest…


    It was too re-imagined:

    ‘Lord Of The Balls’- Never happened.

    ‘Eight Dragonballs’- It was seven.

    ‘Teenage Goku’- He was a child.

    ‘Master Roshi is not a pervert’- Master Roshi is a pervert.

    I could go on and on and on…
    but I won’t.

  16. i think they shouldnt have come out with goku saving the world part so soon, maybe starting it off with a world martial arts tournament, with that it could introduce krillin yamcha and tien into the mix, and the idea of his grandfather dying could be a flash back while he is introduced with krillin and roshi, and he meets krillin while training with roshi(non-perverted), and krillin will be goku’s training partner, the main villian will be tien well not a villain but rival, like the rival clan, crane clan if im not mistaken, a battle of respect of the clans, to see which holds a better fighting style, chi chi could be a competitor that goku bumps into, well thats where i would have went with this story , makes more sense than DBE i think, if any of you’s disagree or have ne thing to put in, do so, im open to anyones two cents

  17. I’m a fan of the anime. I saw DB, DBZ, some of the OVAS and even saw DB GT, even when all I liked from it was Goku’s super sayan 4 transformation. So, I went to see the movie at the theater the first day that it was played in my country and all I have to say is that I lost my time. DB fan or not, I just couldn´t enjoy what I was seeing. Before seeing the movie I knew that the film would be very different than the anime, but then The Transformers adaptation was different from the original show too (at least in my eyes) and I enjoyed that movie. I think that when you do adaptations you have to be careful not to change too much elements at risk of crossing the line that turns the adaptation into something complety different from what it was based of. In my opinion, that’s what happened with DB Evolution. What did I like? I liked the dragonballs design. I liked Gohan’s character. I liked Piccolo’s character the few minutes that he appeared. The rest of it was of my complete dislike. I saw Goku in the screen and it was like seeing Peter Parker with martial arts skills. The story left me with a lot of questions. How did piccolo escape? Where did Mai came from? If Roshi is Gohan’s master how can he look younger? Now, as a fan there were things that I could just not forgive. First of all, Goku’s lack of tail (isn´t he a sayan anymore?) Goku’s Ozaru transformation: The looks of the monkey where ok, but the size was wrong. Goku is supposed to turn into a gigant monkey, but all he grew were a few inches. As someone said before, it was not necessary a gigant monkey of the size of Godzilla, but at least a King Kong’s sized one (from the last movie). Then the final fight was just so quick and unbelieveble… I mean, Roshi didn’t break a sweat fighting Goku and then with a couple of days of training he can beat Piccolo? I don´t think so. Not even in DB is that easy.

    Now about Krillin, I have to add my own two cents. As a DB fan I would have really liked to see him in the movie, but do I think he would have made the movie any less bad? No. Was it necesary for him to appear? No. Why not? First of all, DB Evolution story line is mostly based on the first part of DB, when the first search of the dragonballs ocurred, and at that point Krillin was not present. He appears after the first dragonball search finishes, when Goku takes up on Roshi’s offer of training. After appearing, Krillin turns into Goku’s rival at training, He competes with Goku to see who’s the better student. After that he turns into Goku’s best friend, taking a more passive role as Goku’s sidekick. But then comes the most important function of Krillin in the DB story. One of Piccolo’s monsters kill him at the second martial arts tournament he and goku take part of. Krillin’s death is what makes Goku go after Piccolo. In this movie Gohan’s death is what sets Goku after Piccolo, making unnecesary Krillin’s presence.
    Of course, a good writer could always find a way to give Krillin’s presence a meaning in the story… but then if this movie had a good writer, would it be so bad?
    Sorry about the bad english (English writting is not one of my top skills.), I hope the grammar faults don´t hurt your eyes too much :P

  18. To Rodney:

    Whether Krillin is or isn’t an important character is not for you to decide. You only get to voice out your opinion, which all others will respect. (Oh don’t you worry about that now)

    Oh and one more thing, you might want to correct your facts in your article above; it’s “seven” dragonballs, not eight. Don’t make things up. Even Sir Akira Toriyama never did create a story about “eight” dragonballs.

    1. Except that researching the character proves he is nothing but comic relief and a useless sidekick for Goku. He never accomplishes anything but filler.

      And completely pointless for this movie.

    2. Exactly where in the internet, or any information source for the story did it absolutely state that Krillin is nothing but a comic relief and a useless sidekick for Goku?? As far as general knowledge is concerned, i only get to see or hear these statements from people’s opinions; just like your opinion towards Krillin’s significance.

      By the way Krillin is not filler; he is actually Goku’s trigger for going Super Saiyan. That’s one good proof that Krillin isn’t just some “filler”. He is also the husband of Android 18, of whom is one of the main antagonists that appears in DBZ. Do you even know stuff like that? Krillin in my opinion also contributes greatly to the dramatic side of the series, as seen in countless scenes in DBZ – of which is vital to the story’s character development and character relationships to one another.

      1. Yes, he is the trigger. His useless sidekick comic relief with no plot serves the entire purpose of upsetting Goku and triggering his change into a super saiyan.

        So we should tolerate a useless character that is there for no reason than to upset Goku when the bad guy kills him? They can come up with a dozen emotional triggers to make Goku flip his lid. This character means nothing in these films.

        1. To Rodney:

          Why do you keep saying that Krillin is pointless in this film as if you’re one of the creators of DBE?? Are you even absolutely sure that is the creators’ reason why they left him out in the film?? If you’re not even one of the creators or if you’re not even sure if that’s even the reason why they ditched him in this movie, then don’t finalize it like it is a fact, instead only as YOUR opinion.

          Why did you even use the term “tolerate”? As if Krillin is some pest in the story.

          Go confirm this from the creators themselves, THEN you can come back here and state FACTS.

          1. dude krillin pretty much is a pest he does nothing but get his ass kicked around, i mean only time that he served a purpose was(that i can recall) was when goku turned super sayain and krillin had to fucking die for that to happen

          2. I keep saying it because its FACT.

            He has not story. He was background fluff and of no use to the storyline at all. If Krillin was never introduced the entire series would have been just the same.

            It is YOUR opinion that he has any value at all, and like the team that adapted this movie they likely viewed the character and realized that he was pointless and of no use to this movie. They didn’t say why they left him out because his absence doesn’t even deserve the recognition.

            PROVE OTHERWISE. Tell me how this movie would have been even the slightest bit better with a bald incapable sidekick would have contributed ANYTHING to this movie. You complained that I repeat myself yet you keep saying his is so important, then prove it. How is the movie better if they chose to put him in.

        2. why do u keep repeating yourself, he isnt useless, and your not even a DB fan to say krillin is useless, hes not a trigger, hes goku’s best friend, how is that a plotless character, alot of characters in the DB franchise have comic relief even vegeta, or piccolo, find a different reason why krillin would be useless, i always see the same one, maybe adapt him to the film being stronger and not so much a comic relief, dont make him a short bald guy, change him, as they change alot for adaptations, this could be one of them, and check out my version of where i woild go with this movie, i’d like to hear your opinion and fillers if u have any, anyways, this is a fun debate, but just find sum evidence and closure on your arguement as i have given u many purposes for krillin’s existence for the film and franchise, waiting to here from your opinions on this and my plot summary

          1. Isaiah… change even one hair on Krillin’s useless pointless storyless characterless head and people will still cry “why did they have to fuck it up” and still cry that Krillin wasn’t in the movie.

            He is a pointless character and had no use for this movie.

          2. so you enjoy this movie?

            well it was good if you are lookking for hot girls and another hollywood pointless waste of money… my critic for the director is this one, If you wanna do a movie about dragon ball but you want to do a movie about martial arts?.. simply Why he didnt do the movie about the tournament of martial arts?!!! i dont now how to put all the history of Dragon Ball in two hours but i wouldnt do it that kind of humilliations for the fans?

          3. who cares what the fans want, the fans didnt write this movie or create it, its his choice to change any character he see’s fit, and as from a big DB DBZ and DBGT fan, i’d like to see krillin different, i dont mind the changes, look what happened to the movie when they listened to the fans, it made it that much worse, now imagine if michael bay got his hands on this franchise, i think he could do alot with it, i said imagine not what if,so dont bring up the what if’s, and im done the debate of importance of krillin, but he did have hair, he wasnt always bald, i think my version is better than the film, here it is
            i think they shouldnt have come out with goku saving the world part so soon, maybe starting it off with a world martial arts tournament, with that it could introduce krillin yamcha and tien into the mix, and the idea of his grandfather dying could be a flash back while he is introduced with krillin and roshi, and he meets krillin while training with roshi(non-perverted), and krillin will be goku’s training partner, the main villian will be tien well not a villain but rival, like the rival clan, crane clan if im not mistaken, a battle of respect of the clans, to see which holds a better fighting style, chi chi could be a competitor that goku bumps into, well thats where i would have went with this story , makes more sense than DBE i think, if any of you’s disagree or have ne thing to put in, do so

          4. With so many people saying he’s important, and explaing why, why argue back? Are you just “sticking to your guns”? Is that the uncomfortable situation you’re in? Or can you be a man(even behind your lil’screen) and admit you’re wrong. No one is saying that Krillin would make the movie better…They’re simply saying, He’s important to DB, and Goku’s LIFE. they’ve probably been to broke-back mountain a couple times, ok. that’s how close they were.

          5. Rick, I have repeatedly asked people to explain why all online accounts of Krillin label him as nothing more than comic relief and background fluff.

            The only answer I get is “he was his best friend” and “his death is what makes Goku become supersaiyan”

            Sorry. No one has convinced me otherwise and every source online I read about the character says he was just a background character. He was along for the ride in Goku’s story but has no story of his own. He has no story of his own aside from being there for some high fives.

            You Krillin fans keep repeating the same empty excuses as to why you think he was “important”

            Jarjar Binks was “important” to the plot of Star Wars but no one complained when he wasn’t involved more in everything else.

  19. To Rodney:

    Whether Krillin is or isn’t an important character is not for you to decide. You only get to voice out your opinion, which all others will respect. (Oh don’t you worry about that now)

    Oh and one more thing, you might want to correct your facts in your article above; it’s “seven” dragonballs, not eight. Don’t make things up. Even Sir Akira Toriyama never did create a story about “eight” dragonballs.

  20. Rodney, what? Krillin has no story and is unnecessary? I disagree.

    In Dragon Ball Krillins background is revealed. He was pushover, martial arts student and was bullied by his senpais and therefore wanted to become Master Roshis student. He could have easily been adapted and added in the movie. Maybe as Goku’s weak high school friend who joined them to search for Master Roshi to get stronger? Why not?

    Krillin was one of the main characters in Dragon Ball (maybe not as much in Dragon Ball Z) and it’s just wrong that they left him out. It’s like not having Robin in Batman.

    1. @alan

      So having him as a failing student pushover sidekick who wants to also get trained by Roshi makes him worthwhile in the movie?

      Well in this film Goku isn’t seeking out Roshi to be trained, he is seeking the Dragonballs. Why would his pushover slack of a friend want to tag along for that?

      Right… because you fanboys need to have his character there just because he was in the cartoon.

  21. Frankly, I thought about seeing it. Not anymore.

    I’m afraid my inner DB fan would writhe in utter pain and confusion.


    Perhaps everyone’s opinion is a bit biased? Afterall, I’ve never really liked Western adaptations of Japanese media nor do I know anyone else that do. Maybe it would’ve been a good movie had the plot been original?

  22. the only time krillin has ever served a purpose was when he got killed and that caused goku to turn into a super sayain, but other than that he just gets pwned by everyone

  23. This film just doesn’t capture the essence of dragonball. It’s almost as if it has no relationship to the original. First of all, setting the first film in the Dragonball Z storyline would have been a much bolder and more popular choice. Furthermore, there is so much juicy movie heart-wrenching quality in Dragonball that was not tapped into. There is for starters, the struggle for a sense of identity, which was half-baked in DBE. In fact much of the film was half-baked. There was the half-baked Oozaru and realisation of who Goku “really is”, a half-baked love affair between Bulma and Yamcha, and between Goku and Chi-Chi, a half-baked dragon, a villain who got almost no air time and no chance to make his character interesting or complex etc… The film lacks complexity, all of the characters are superficial and represent none of the great messages of the cartoon. Moreover, everything in the film is too easy. Goku defeats Piccolo, too easily, we don’t get to see the struggle, the immense bravery and heart of the characters in the cartoon, it’s likewise too easy for Goku to get the girl, it’s too easy to reject the Oozaru urges. It only ever skims the surface and it makes weak and empty, something that in its pure cartoon form is full, and complex and exciting and suspenseful.

    James Wong should be sacked.
    Justin Chatwin was miscast.
    Piccolo didn’t get enough air-time.
    Yamcha did the best he could with no plotline.
    Bulma was good.
    Chow Yun Fat was good and should have been Goku.
    Jet Li should be Vegeta.
    Vin Diesel should be Piccolo.
    Ken Watanabe should be Nappa.
    Tilda Swinton should be Frieza.

    Let’s hope the next one is given as much love and care as the lord of the rings was.

  24. the only reason why i watched this movie is because of the party scene where he went all ‘i promised my grandpa not to fight’ and then kicking those people’s butt without doing anything :P

    and as fellow DBZ fan .. this movie SUCKS .. i hated it the moment i saw the trailer i still hate it now if it was like FF advent children style then im sure i’d loved it.. but this is just useless

  25. What is wrong with just giving the fans what we want? Do they think that if they KEEP it the SAME as in the anime it would turn us off from seeing the film? NOT! Now the true fans are going to wait even longer for someone to wait out this disaster of a movie to blow over to make a real Dragonball movie without changing things to adapt it to the big screen. This story is already adapted to the big screen, it’s just up to someone(a real fan)needs to step in and make the anime come alive.

    1. Dude, a “real fan” did write this. The creator of Dragonball wrote this and gave his approval to the screen play.

      So while all you fanboys are crying about how they “let” this movie go for a shit, remember that the master and creator of the Dragonball stories APPROVED this script.

    2. you know it’s funny but the truth is a writer is usually the worst person to do an adaptation. There are obvious exceptions, but most of the time a writer has gone so past his mind set at the time he was writing the original material,he has no real connection to his own material anymore.

      I believe this was fully the case.

    3. the creator of dragonball did not write the movie. the goofy director did. i forget his name. but it wasnt akira toriyama. akira wrote the orignal dragonball manga. i mean come on? akira loves money! he’ll approve nething with the dragonball franchise for the right money. just a sell out. the fans always get screwed!

  26. I don’t even think this movie should have been named Dragonball. Apart from the actual dragonballs and the character names almost nothing is the same.
    True, it is an adaptation. But even adaptations are supposed to bear some resemblance to the original source! This film is almost nothing like the anime or the manga.
    I mean, what the heck? Movie Goku spends time worrying about things like getting a girlfriend, wearing good looking clothes, styling his hair, and being popular with others.
    The whole point of Goku’s character was how carefree he was! That’s what made him Goku!
    I understand that some things had to be changed for the adaptation. But you don’t change such a big part of the main character like they did here because then it’s not even the same character!
    Did they change Peter Parker from being a nerd in Spider-Man? Did they change Tony Stark being a play-boy in Iron Man? Did they change Wolverine from being a lone wolf in X-men? And the list goes on!
    If a movie Batman killed people and was cheerful and used guns and his parents were revealed to be killed by a drunk driver, fans would be up in arms!
    It is obvious that this film is directed toward young children. Children who have never really even seen the show because it came before their time.
    That’s just my complaints about it’s failure as an adaptation. The movie failed as a movie as well.

    1. i agree.
      it’s an adaptation which is that confusing in which part they should adopt.

      and they just totally do randoms in putting whos in the film and whos not.

      Big Diss..NO KRILLIN.it’s like no Robin, No Ron Weasley, just no Sidekick, come on guys, when they say it’s a good point when u delete the main character’s sideK and add a random person with random reason/motive and just anything random lke Mai?
      Duh,the director was THAT creative ha,LOL.

          1. What about him. He wasn’t in this part of Goku’s story and he was completely unnecessary to the film adaptation. He is just a comic relief sidekick with no story of his own.

          2. He had a MAJOR part in Dragon Ball and could easily have been added in this movie as I stated in my previous comment. Leaving out a main character like Krillin was a big mistake.

          3. @Alan

            And as stated in a number of previous comments and evidenced by the creator of the series leaving him out of the movie, he is not that important.

            Repeating it doesnt suddenly make it true. Stop trying.

            If you can come up with some evidence on how the movie would have been so much better with him included, then fine. But if you insist on just repeating this nonsense you are accomplishing nothing.

          4. To Rodney

            I already told you have he could have been adapted and added in the movie. Yes, Goku searched for Roshi for the Dragon Balls, but people with different goals and dreams can tag along in an adventure… something that’s been seen in a lot of movies to say the least. He was not rubbish in the cartoon and the movie would suck a bit less (if that’s even possible) if they had added Krillin. I have evidence for my claims, meanwhile you don’t. Saying he was useless in the cartoon without any background is incorrect, because he wasn’t useless and his background was revealed as i stated in my previous comment. I’m sure you’ve only seen Dragon Ball Z.

          5. sum one said that krillin is like robin well that isnt true but he is like alfred, hes their for support, an encourager, so rodney dont go and say that krillin is a useless character, if it werent for his death, goku wouldnt have ascended into a super saiyan against frieza, that there proves he is not entirelty useless, and he could have helped goku with his ozaru problem, he could have settled his mind and help take control, u always have a negative input of others opinions, why so negative?

    2. Krillin was a minor sidekick comic relief character with NO story or plot whatsoever.

      You compare him to the importance of Robin, but the current Batman films do fine without him.

      Krillin was not required, and dare I say the film is “better” for not having just stuffed every member of his peanut gallery in it on top of all the other flaws.

      You make it sound like the whole film would be redeemed if only they included this unimportant sidekick.

    3. Hey. Krillin was more important to the plot than Yamcha ever was.

      Yamcha, Bulma, Roshi, and Chi-Chi all faded into the background of the series. Krillin never really did so.

      Krillin may not have been the best fighter out there, but he was always around and he deserved to have a supporting role in the movie.

    4. And despite your personal feelings for Krillin, the character is useless and has no story. However brief, the other supporting cast still had a story. Krillin was nothing but background noise and comic relief.

    5. That’s why I don’t like Dragonball Z.
      I liked Dragonball as a kid, I think it was the first anime I watched. Years later, now that I know that it was loosely based off of Journey to the West, I appreciate it more. It wasn’t a perfect adaptation by any means, but the nod here and there was nice, and there was a general story to follow.
      They tacked on the ‘Z’ to the title at the point where they dropped the attempt at adapting the original novel altogether. The first story arc was all I really needed to see; the rest were largely made of the same stuff. Bad guy shows up, good guys die, good guys get stronger, good guys get revived, Goku kills the bad guy. Repeat. Years later, there’s little redeeming value to me. I want my time back.
      As for the Krillin problem–he was the foil, the sidekick. He made it sort of a buddy pic, which could have been a lot better than the halfassed attempt at something resembling romance.

    6. You know people tend to toss Krillian to the wayside a little too easily.
      Who would Hamlet be with out Horatio?
      Who would James Kirk be with out Sulu?
      Who would Anakin be with out Mace Windu?

      All these are characters that COULD have been cut and still hit all the plot points. However each of these supporting cast members contributes something not only to the story (Even if to a small degree) but to the main character themselves.

      Krillian was Gohan before he was born. Krillian gave Goku the drive and desire to succeed as a peer. He gave Goku a partner to count on and somebody to rescue when he finally comes into his own. This is an important juxtaposition because it shows the maturity of the character since his beginnings.

      After Gohan came along there wasn’t as much need for him but because of the character relationship built before, Krillian gave Goku’s character a dept and back story just by being there, that enriched him as a character.

      I do not believe that the movie would have been saved if he was in it but it would have been a step in the right direction. When you want to build the Seattle Space Needle you don’t take away the supporting base. Even if the real spectacle is the top features.

    7. All those people served a purpose in the main character’s life.

      Aside from someone to high five and stand on the sidelines saying “Yeah!” Krillin served no purpose in the series.

    1. LOL, I’m surprised even bothered to go see it to review it. Thanks for braving it for us though.

      I knew this movie was going to suck all along. No one behind it had any real passion for what the DragonBall series really is.

      Plus I read an early review for it about 2 months ago on Anime News Network and they too said it was a disaster.

      I kind of grew up with DragonBall Z, pains me to see this movie and the first movie based on a main stream anime at that, fail so miserably. Well here’s hoping that Battle Angel and Ghost in the Shell will both be 100 times better…

    2. I hope ‘they’ do justice to BA and GITS. Totally in love with GITS (the original); opening scenes were brilliant, IMHO. I wasn’t as impressed with part 2.

  27. I liked James Marsters as Piccolo was the only thing I really enjoyed about Dragonball. Marsters looked great in the green make-up and pointy ears. The character wasn’t on screen for long, but when he was, things didn’t seem all too bad. You could tell from interviews, that Marsters was very passionate about Dragonball. It’s just a shame that the studio didn’t share that passion.

    Emmy Rossum was another person who did a good job for what she had to work with in my eyes. But like Piccolo, she only got to shine in one or two scenes. That’s the thing, it wasn’t that the actors were miscast(besides Joon Park), it was the piss poor script that felt rushed.

    They are the only things I liked.

    The film begins with an 18 year old Goku who training with his Grandpa Gohan. This is not how it went down in the Manga, right? Dragonball was about Goku as a young boy, not a teenager, and his Grandpa was already dead. But you know what? This didn’t bother me one bit. Having a kid playing Goku throughout this whole film would have annoyed me. Gohan dying by hands of Piccolo gave Goku motivation to take this evil Namek down. Somethings don’t work in live action and sometimes you got to change things, but still hold the spirit of the source material at the same time. That being said, at least 20 minutes of the film should have revolved around a young Goku getting up to all sorts of adventures with his Grandpa. This way you would get some kid Goku in there and at the same time you’d be building a relationship between Goku and Gohan. But instead, they spend 20 Minutes with Goku hanging out in school, getting bullied and going to lame parties. I hated Goku in this film, he pissed me off, he was everything that Goku was not. Goku in the Manga/Anime was a playful, humble, but was very confident in himself and took things serious when he needed to be. In this film, Goku is boring, very monotone and plays off as a poor mans Peter Parker

    I hate how the whole film felt like I was watching it on DVD and someone was hitting the skip scenes button on a remote. For example one scene just suddenly jumps to a material arts tournament where Chi Chi is fighting Mai(works for Piccolo. Again, there is not explanation why she is), where the hell did this scene come from? There is no more mention of the tournament again. The whole film is like that, it just throws things at you without any explanation.

    2/10 also

  28. lol the guy who said jackman wouldnt be good as vegeta cause his hieght…get over that cause there most likely not gonna nab some super loked out jocky to play any of these toon characters….lol

  29. why defend this junk…i actually read the series via manga the week they came out from a KUNIKUNYA bookstore in san jose..same place that had every episode of every show on vhs tape dubbed so u could rent for $1..needless to say having over 20,000 tapes of bootleg tv shows will get u in trouble…but anyways at the time i was 12 years old and it was 91…throughout the years i learned how to decipher and read most of the 2 basic forms of writing….and about 500 kanji symbols…well what was awesome at the age of 12 doesnt mean it will make a good movie for people in there late 20’s (which is where most of the fanbase is at)….i new before seeing any of the clips this would suck…why…cause there is basically no way you can make a story off the manga and sell it in america…lil human looking alien with wild hair turning into a monkey fighting and learning from a pedophile old man etc…i dont understand how db fans would think it would be decent….hahah sucka’s

  30. Emmy deserves better.

    Out of curiosity, did they digitally tint Piccolo green in this movie? The first trailer had him white. Then fans shit bricks online. Then I saw another trailer where he was green.

  31. I personally don’t understand how people who are not fans can criticize fans of a franchise for wanting a movie that stays true to the thing they love.
    Sure, some fans do take their bitching too far but is it really so wrong to not want the Hollywood machine to bastardize something they adore? It seems to have become almost a pass-time to bitch about fanboys but it’s something they love being adapted, can’t they be upset when the directors and such take away everything they love about a franchise and replace it with trash to appease the masses? It just seems wrong.

    1. So if they adapt a movie to be different in any way than the franchise that it was based on, its “bastardizing”, but if they do the exact same thing and you happen to like it like that, then its a stroke of genius.

      Batman, Bond, X-Men, Superman, Blade, Twilight. All franchises that saw adaptations of the original works, but no one complains that they were ruined “because they changed something” those all seem to be deserving of a fresh set of eyes.

      Spiderman didn’t have mechanical webshooters… but the movie was fine, so its forgivable. But if they made a bad Spidey film those webshooters would have been the harbingers of doom!!!

      DOOM I SAY!!!

    2. I see where Rod is going with this. Adapting and popular franchise to a diffrent media is a tricky thing. It needs to be faithful to its roots but not so much that it would turn movie fans away. Its like Batman and Robin/Batman Returns vs Batman Begins. Its just difficult to hit that sweet spot where it can please the majority of the audience.

    3. the xmen movies sucked and other than number 2 spiderman movies sucked as well, and i dont know where you have been rodney but the fans were in an uproar before and after (to a much lesser extent) when spiderman 1 came out…

      1. The Boxoffice and DVD sales would incline to disagree with that assessment.

        The XMen movies were great, and well received. And despite everyone complaining about how bad Spidey3 was, they still ran out to see it repeatedly and bought the Dvd. Hardcore fanboys will always complain.

        1. I think that’s an over simplification of the situation. A point was made earlier about “fanboys” deserving to be upset about their characters being changed in a movie adaptation. To an extent, I can agree with that.

          To make a gross generalization such as this is a little on the silly side.
          This, being your: “The XMen movies were great, and well received. And despite everyone complaining about how bad Spidey3 was, they still ran out to see it repeatedly and bought the Dvd. Hardcore fanboys will always complain.” comment.

          The X-Men movies were horrible. From a “fanboy” perspective anyway. I walked out of the first one sad. The second one sad. And the fifty minute mark of three, angry. And from your statement, it’s safe to say that quite a few of the “fanboys” didn’t complain. The Origins movie coming out featuring Wolverine will be nothing short of an abortion. I doubt everyone will be pitching a bitch about it.

          People didn’t like DBE for whatever reason. More power to them.

          The incredibly verbose point attempting to be made here: Way to be inappropriately condescending and assuming. You should get that checked.

          1. I am a die hard X-Men fanboy since Fall of the Mutants and I have been collecting comics for over 25 years. I love the XMen films, and though the third was the weakest, I dont hate it by any imagination.

            People like me didn’t like DBE because it was a horrible film. You can point at all the inconsistencies with the toon all you want, but even if they got them “right” it still would have sucked. The acting was horrible, most of the action was bad (it had moments) and there was no sense of adventure. The whole movie was “what’s next” and a bunch of fanservice tributes that just made it all akward.

        2. I agree I loved the real comic sense the Spidy films brought. Usually in movies the good guy puts aside his fears and get the girl anyways. In the end of Spidy one he took a sort of preachy way out but then again that’s comics. They always leave with some moralistic bull lol. it’s what makes them great.

    4. Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to say that any changes are bad. Obviously, something like this needs changes for adaptation but (unless I’m crazy) there is a difference between making small changes and stripping a franchise to it’s core components and then adding Hollywood “magic”. Take away what absolutely won’t work. Don’t take away whatever you feel doesn’t make a cool, action-packed Popcorn Flick.

    5. wothout the fanboys in the first place most of these movies would have never seen the likes of day. take your pick from almost any comic movie made, their popularity with the fanboys is what made them a financially viable investment in the first place. why should it be unreasonable for the hardcore fans to expect it to be true to itself? obviously not everything works on the screen but they often go to far in changing things

    6. I agree with what you are saying if they had of stayed true to the fans it wouldn’t need to break out into another audience because it has a big enough fan base anyway , and the coments about goku Being Asian , I woulda thought he’d have black hair with his classic hair stile not a skinny brown haired tossed with abit of gel sloped in it , and personally I just pictured goku as an Asian with big ears and a tail.
      The movie in order to be a saga should of explained a few Moore things such as goku Being an alien , and goku never went to partys what the he’ll was with that ????? I am recomending fans not to see this movie cause you will just get upset . Cheers

  32. Thanks for the news. Not really a big fan of DB, but really like DBZ. This review just saved me a couple of bucks. I notice they didn’t say anything about Goku being an alien. Is that true? Did they make him a human for the movie?

  33. What did you guys think of the eternal dragon? personally I would have liked it to have been as long as the one in the cartoon. Oh and what do you guys think of Hugh Jackman as vegeta? (not that its ever going to happen)

  34. Well I understand that the film couldn’t be just like the cartoon or manga. However, I do feel this movie has the same problem that the last Street Fighter movie. They changed so much from its orginal source material that to fans its not even the same thing that fans have enjoyed. Yoda said it best, ” Do or do not their is no try.” So seems like the film makers just didnt make a good Dragon Ball movie in fans perception. Rodney says it just wasn’t a good film as a film. That means both parties are right. Close this chapter and lets work on X-men 4, oh sorry X-men Origin: Wolverine, Cyclops, Gambit, Dead Pool, Frost, Sabertooth.

  35. Well, this is totally sick. It’s disgusting.

    I had hopes. I really did. But now they are going to utterly butcher a perfectly fabulous franchise and there is nothing I can do but stand back and watch.

    I seriously think I’m about to throw up. Excuse me.

    1. Define “right”.

      In the last few months I have heard every last fanboy voice his concerns on this and they all figured they could do it better. I don’t know that it could have been better, but I wish it was.

    2. This is what I would have liked to see in a Dragon Ball movie, as in, this would be my definition of right. In my opinion

      In the cartoon he was a kid, I think that IF DONE RIGHT this could have worked in the big screen, a furious, violent, angry, short tempered, savage, badass 7 year old kid beating the shit out of people, or they can use Justin Chatwin…doesnt matter.

      No stupid lines, no goofy shit, no flying Jeeps, no stupid ass dialogue. Sure, some humor, but not the stupid kind used in this movie.

      Badguys: Piccolo and Raditz

      Good guys: Bulma, Goku, Yamcha, The dude with 3 eyes and Chow Yun-Fat

      The fighting NOT to be the STUPID ASS Bruce Lee ropes fighting!!!! UGH!!! Are we still in the 90s?! This isnt Mortal Combat

      Do you remember the last fight scene in the 3rd Matrix movie? Okay, that would have been perfect for this movie. Not this rope crap…and no high school fights either, thats stupid.

      The fights that arent titanically global and supermanish (like the matrix one) can be done with rope..but not this shitty style they used…maybe they could do something like what Guillermo del toro did inm Hellboy 2 when Hellboy fought Prince Nuada…now THAT was a good use of the ropes…that was amazing

      The following is optional:
      In the cartoon Sayans have tails, which means that you turn into a werewolf/gorilla when the moon comes out…until you cut your tail off.
      So I think that would have been cool…some werewolf/gorilla morphing..like in Van Helsing…But not huge Godzilla monsters..just about 10 feet tall

    3. “STUPID ASS Bruce Lee ropes fighting!!!! UGH!!! Are we still in the 90s?!”

      wait, what?
      bruce lee was a martial arts movie god. the makers could have only hoped for fighting of that caliber in DBE, and bruce died in the 70’s

    4. Yes. Thats exactly what im saying. That last fight scene in the last matrix movie between neo and smith was VERY dragonball-ish

      “So youre saying its okay to have dancing in Footloose but not Spiderman 3?! You cant get everything!”

      No…Bruce Lee movies are different then Dragonball movies. Normal awesome martial arts human and superman-like aliens destroying planets

      You asked me what I thought was the “right” way to do it so I responded, you dont have to pounce on my opinion like that after you just asked for it dude

      And yes, I love Bruce Lee…but its just not the same. But thats just me…

    5. And I specifically said in my comment that rope fighting would be great in this movie…but not this cheap one that looked like crap…I mentioned Hellboy 2 and how they did it amazingly

      They dont get to the planet destroying superhumans until Z but theres still supernatural fighting in dragonball….for the rest, just do the rope stuff…but do it RIGHT.

      I hated this movie and I hate bringing it up again…but the 2ND matrix movie had that AWESOME stairs fight when Neo fought like 45 guys and there were swords on the wall…that was cool….

    6. Footloose is about dancing. Spiderman isnt.

      Your comparison is not about something that doesn’t belong. Dragonball is supposed to have martial arts, so does Bruce Lee, so does Matrix. There is a logical comparison there.

      I didn’t pounce on your opinion. I challenged your logic when you contradicted yourself.

    7. Right, thats where I (respectfully) disagree


      Bruce Lee movies are…the same as Dragon Ball SOMETIMES…but not when they have flying scenes with piccolo throwing goku 1000 in the air and then appearing behind him again and kicking him towards the ground

      The ones that are sort of…realistic..or the “Bruce Lee” ones I think could have been done a little bit better, thats all. Like the high school ones (which shouldnt be there int he first place) and the training ones.
      I cant get over how awesome they did this in that last fight scene in Hellboy 2 with Prince Nuada

      Although that sword fight with Nuada should have been extended to like…50 minutes….that was so insane…

    8. Ok i dont know if ne1 is going to read this…but for my sake i have to put this in there. FOR STARTERS ABOUT THE BRUCE LEE COMMENT THAT APPEARS IN HERE….BRUCE LEE NEVER EVER USED ROPES IN HIS MOVIES!!! HE HATED THAT!! HE DID ALL HIS OWN STUFF..GEEZ. Now as far as making the movie differently. i would have tried to appeal to the fanbase a little more. ok they are starting off with dragonball. not dragonball z. which is cool. but they are also useing the very last saga in dragonball. well the next to last. the evil king piccolo saga. which means they are skiping the pilaf saga. the tournament saga. the red ribbon army saga….and a few others. so it makes a lil sense that goku is 18 for the flick. now grandpa gohan is suppose to die at the hands of goku. when goku was just a little boy. when goku turns into the giant ape. the only parts of this movie that was like the show at all was the the character names and the dragonballs. the rest was a bunch of made up crap using the characters. so dont expect nething close to an adaption. cuz you aint gettin one. i think maybe if they at least gave goku a tail and a powerpole and did the red ribbon army saga…and worked up to piccolo that would have been cool. or jus started with dbz. i dnt no. at least they tried a i guess. bottom line its just a poor action/adventure film with the names of dragonball chracters. ALSO NO KRILLEN!! WTF? haha sorry the movies is nothing close to the dragonball series. and to think..i rewatched every last episode as a refresher for the movie…that was like 155 episodes plus 4 movies!! witch the movie couldnt even be compared to! ok i better stop…haha..movie is nothing like the show. jus watch a couple episodes of dragonball. you’ll see.

    9. ok the part of th fight where goku goes flying towards piccolo is an alteration of how he actually beats piccolo in dragonball he goes through him. so that was the closest thing about the original this movie actually got right

    1. I’m inclined to disagree with you. A sequel won’t happen any time soon, if at all.

      Your numbers are a little off. As of right now, April 13, the flick is a hair shy of $30 million worldwide. Opening #8 in the States at $4,650,000. That doesn’t seem like a strong number to me. ;-)

  36. The casting director and actors in this movie

    scratch that everyone in making this movie should be made accountable for destroying any possible franchise for the movie.

    1/10 this movie had so much promise but a bad script and lousy casting in Goku killed the movie.

    1. Well Akira Toriyama gave it his thumbs up, and he wrote the original content this is adapted from.

      I don’t know that direction or different actors could have changed the story. I suppose you figure Goku should be Asian right?

    2. In no way what so ever would I be disappointed because Goku is not asian, he an Alien and if aliens happen to look like asians well I would start looking at my girl friend differently.

      Justin Chatwin flat out sucked the way he said kameahmeah was unconvincing. The movie holds so much promise but it just flat out failed. And Yamcha dude since when did he become a valley boy?

      This movie had to many flaws

    3. Did you want someone asian to play goku? Cause if here/read one more person say he shouldn’t be white I will flip out. He is an alien that looks white for god sakes!

    4. I retract my comment on the grounds I didnt keep reading I just got caught up in every other comment I have seen that said he should be asian and I apologize.

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