Dragonball: Evolution

20th Century Fox Released 2009


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out of 10
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Movie Summary

James Wong

Dragonball: Evolution is an action film directed by James Wong based on the immensely popular anime and manga Dragon Ball that centers on the adventures of Son Goku (Justin Chatwin), a quiet but goofy eighteen-year-old martial artist. When he finds his home destroyed and his beloved Grandpa Gohan (Randall Duk Kim) on death’s door, he learns that someone or something is out there trying to gather all the Dragonballs, mystical energy balls numbered one through seven with the power to call upon a powerful dragon Shen Long. As he searches for these balls with the help of scientist and Capsule Corp-heir Bulma Briefs (Emmy Rossum), the lecherous martial arts master Muten Roshi (Chow Yun-fat), and desert bandit Yamcha (Joon Park), the team races against the demonic Namekian Piccolo (James Marsters) and his minion, shape-shifting Mai (Eriko Tamura). Goku has to learn how to harness his ki-bending abilities and learn the truth about what he exactly is in order to seal away the evil that is Piccolo before Earth is destroyed in the fight of all fights.


Metacritic Score

  • 70

    The New York Times Nathan Lee

    May or may not appeal to fans of the Japanese fantasy franchise it is based on, but aficionados of apocalyptic teenybopper kung fu extravaganzas are in for a real treat.

  • 50


    A popular Japanese manga series gets a pleasing if paint-by-numbers live-action makeover in Dragonball Evolution, which half-heartedly tries to keep the faith for its pubescent mal...

  • 40

    Los Angeles Times

    Director James Wong ("Final Destination") and writer Ben Ramsey are utterly blasé in their approach to the series' mythology and structure, cobbling together an 84-minute movie th...

  • Inferior, but overall not a bad movie.

    Don't get me wrong, when comparing it to the original series, the former is obviously better. With that said, this movie really didn't anger me as much as everyone else; in fact, for the most part this was an okay movie. Not saying that it's great, but it's not something to make a big fuss over IMO. So, in this alternate version of Dragonball, Goku is now an 18 year old high school student who is given a dragon ball by his Grandpa Gohan; but after his grandfather is killed by Piccolo, Goku joins Bulma to find the rest of the dragon balls to stop him. Along the way, they meet a select group of characters; Master Roshi, the pervert mentor, Yamcha, the desert bandit and Chi Chi, Goku's love interest. Acting wise, while it has some dialouge that was really wooden, I kind bought Justin Chatwin as Goku; oblivious, loves food and knows martial arts, it's not perfect but it is passable. The rest of the actors were just okay in there roles and I kinda wished Krillin was in the film but oh well, that's life. The fighting sequences were okay as well, but I expected more considering this is an action movie. Plot holes not with standing, this is a movie that I can personally watch and not get annoyed by it; I understand why people get so worked up over it (hell, even the original creator disowned this movie), but for me, it's fine. Not bad, but could definitely use a reboot.moreless
  • 5 Minutes Was My Limit

    I am not joking. I watched five minutes of this film and quit the instant I saw Goku go to high school. That's how far I went with this. Just seeing Goku as eighteen years old was bad enough but seeing him as a high school student in what looked like our world rather than the fantasy world Dragon Ball truly took place in shows that the source material was not only unused but spit upon, doused in kerosene, set on fire, and drunk with beer.

  • Fail.

    Dragon Ball Evolution it's a bad

    The only thing that i can say to say how bad it is, is that Dragon ball G fucking T was better!
  • Yeah this movie sucks

    Not as bad as the Last Airbender but still really bad.

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