Dragonball Evolution (2009) – Master Your Adaptation

I just don’t get it, why is this movie matter and exist? Is it possible that James Wong himself is a fan of one of the most popular manga in this universe? I’m just curious about Akira Toriyama’s expression himself. I bet if he could vomit in this piece. But, it’s been 10 years later and we always go back to the past with all of the pieces. And not with this. James Wong himself is a director known as his “Final Destination” franchise. For several years, fans still attacking him on the internet. After seven years, he finally apologized to fans of “Dragon Ball” and to the author itself.

Today, “Dragonball Evolution” sits on Rotten Tomatoes with a rating of 15%. Unconsciously, we forget everything like history once again recorded in this film. Indeed, a live-adaptation movie isn’t bad if it’s done right. But, does this become a trendy thing in itself, since Hollywood always has their eyes on the anime? “Dragonball Evolution” is a fantasy film adaptation of the manga by Akira Toriyama. James Wong took part in the director’s chair. There are so many forgotten casts such as Justin Chatwin, James Marsters, Chow Yun-fat, Jamie Chung, and friends.

Once upon a time, James Marsters as Lord Piccolo awake from long hibernation for whatever reason, we got this villain. It’s one of the corniest villains you’ve ever met. You seem to have met a type of villain like this. But, it gets even worse. Piccolo, you guess it, intends to destroy humanity. To start his plan, Piccolo tried to collect the dragon balls. I mean, do I have to explain this? In case you living under the rock, these seven dragon balls are said to be able to grant all requests. Even for people like me who aren’t fans of the anime themselves know how this works.

In another place, Chatwin as Goku lives peacefully with Randall Duk Kim as Gohan, his grandfather. Once, Piccolo came to Gohan to take the dragon ball. Previously, he also handed the ball to Goku. Don’t worry, this isn’t as complex as other stories. Goku arrived late and found his grandfather dead. On that day, Goku turned into a different person again. He is no longer a cheerful man who is so innocent towards women. He turned into a different person again. Goku is a psychopath, a monster, he is – Goku. He is determined to find another dragon ball before Piccolo gets it.

Goku is not alone. With the help of his friends, Rossum as Bulma, Yun-fat as Roshi, and Joon Park as Yamcha, Goku race against time. He races with his friends against Piccolo to save the world from destruction. Well, what do you expect? I rather watch “Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins” than watching this. You know, the Taiwan 1991 version where you always watching it as a kid and even though that was great? But, it’s better than this. Everything is better than this. It’s an insult to a filmmaker, an insult to DBZ fans, and an insult to humanity.

“Dragon Ball” have known for a long time through its manga and anime and even the movie still airs until now. It’s a revolution of the shounen genre itself, changing the genre itself and introduced something new at the time. Now, we see how DBZ is one of the most influential anime of all time. There is so much shounen you can count with. It introduces unique tropes in the day. This anime has unique characters that present an exciting and entertaining adventure story. Not just fixated on such the simple premise, anyone will know this anime or Goku’s character whether you watch anime or not.

Somehow, this rule was born. They always remake anything good into live action. They always remake a good or classic anime and turns it into a Hollywood cash grab. But more importantly, it’s a sin to adapt this anime into live-action adaptation. Whatever you think, it’s a sin of then, now, and forever. Evidently, “Dragonball Evolution” is not able to translate anything in any aspects of the manga or anime. It brings you something new but ridiculous from the material itself. Everything is very different from the material. Goku goes to school. Really? Goku is a pervert and stalker. Really? What were they thinking? The make-up is just… I don’t know how. The acting… I don’t know either. It’s just so bad that you rather watch Tommy Wiseau talking crap.

Yeah, I don’t know how to explain this film. Even, to be honest, I don’t really like DBZ myself but I really appreciate it as a shounen anime. There are no redeeming qualities to this movie even for the director, the screenwriter, and the cast. I’m just feeling why Toriyama agreed to an idea like this. Or maybe, trendy like this has existed since long ago and they want to do it first to beat the market themselves? Nope, I don’t think so. “Dragonball: Evolution” is just a skippable movie but if you want to watch this, maybe, at least don’t pay it. Can’t wait for the sequel of this movie because of the post-credit sequence. They call it sequel bait but instead, no one wants to direct it.

0.5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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