When they announced that Dragon Ball was going to get a live-action film adaptation, fans of the series around the world did a /facepalm. After the last attempt of doing a live-action film adaptation of an anime/manga in the United States (Speed Racer), things wasn’t looking to promising for Dragonball Evolution.
Already you can see they messed up the name. Dragonball instead of Dragon Ball. C’mon, how you mess up the name of the series? I guess I could let this slide.
Then you have the chosen “talent” for the roles of the characters. Alright, I know nothing about the process of casting actors/actresses for films, but they could have done a better job. Or maybe all the “better choices” turned down the offers because they knew how movie is going to end up? Meh, what do I know?
Then there is the plot, where all hell breaks loose. It’s like they’ve never read or watched the manga or anime. I mean, there is already a great story for Dragon Ball, why change it?
If you are planning on seeing the movie and don’t want to be spoiled, then you should stop here.
Continue on if you would like know how the movie went. I watched it, so that you didn’t have to.
The movie opens up with Goku training with his grandpa Gohan. Goku then complains that he doesn’t have any friends at school, and that instead of teaching him to control his chi, his grandpa should teach how to talk to girls, and how to be normal.
Grandpa Gohan says something about how normal is overrated, and that he should be himself. He then gives Goku the 4 Star Dragon Ball for his birthday, and tells him about the 7 Dragon Balls.
- Scene cuts to Goku’s High School -
Goku is making his way through the school parking lot on his old bicycle, and parks his bike. Suddenly some kid in a nice car comes in and runs over his bike. Enter the Jocks!
The leader the jocks does one of those “whatcha gonna do about it?” thing, and calls Goku, “Geeko”. He tries to start a fight with Goku, but Goku just walks away. The high school jocks and a few girls walk away laughing. Poor “Geeko”.
- Scene cuts to a flying Fortress -
Not any ordinary flying fortress, Piccolo’s flying fortress! Piccolo is searching for the Dragon Balls, and destroys a town from his fortress. He then sends his assistant, Mai, down to the destroyed town to find the Dragon Ball. They now have one.
- Scene cuts to Goku in class -
The teacher is talking about solar eclipse while Goku is staring at a female student, and daydreaming about her. He is interrupted by the teacher, and was asked about the eclipse. Goku says something about his grandpa telling about Nameks, and the class laughs him.
Class ends and students are at their lockers getting ready for their next class. The bell rings, and here we see a girl still having trouble getting her locker opened. Goku uses his Chi to open the locker from around the corner.
The girl sees Goku trying to hide, and confronts him about using his Chi. She introduces herself as Chi-Chi, and invites him to her party that’s going on that night. Goku quickly accepts, and runs away.
- Next Scene is at Goku’s House -
His grandpa is cooking up some birthday dinner for Goku, while Goku is getting all dressed up to go to Chi-Chi’s party. There was some cheesy lines somewhere during this, and Goku sneaks out to go to the party.
- Party at Chi-Chi’s Mansion -
Goku shows up, and some jocks see him here. They proceed to bully “Geeko” trying to make him leave. Goku finally stands up to the bullies! But since he made a promise not to fight, he’ll have to do it by pretty much dodging and making them hit each other.
There was a lot more cheesy lines, and a lot of bullet time involved, and Goku manages to take out the jocks.
Goku is now the man, and is talking it up with Chi-Chi. Chi-Chi, who previously seemed to had something going on with the leader jock, pretty much brushed that whole fighing scene off, and is chatting it up with Goku. Chi-Chi you slut!
- Scene cuts to Goku’s House -
Grandpa Gohan is sitting patiently in the kitchen with a birthday cake, waiting for Goku to come home. All of a sudden, he is attacked by Mai, but manages to fight her off with no problems. Then Piccolo shows up, and defeats Gohan, causing the house to come crashing down on Gohan’s body. Piccolo of course was after the Dragon Ball.
Goku, while still at Chi-Chi’s party, senses that something was wrong, and comes running back home. He finds the house in ruin, and finds his grandpa under the rubble. Gohan tells Goku about Piccolo, and tells him to find Master Roshi, then passes away.
- The next day -
After burying Gohan, Goku goes back to the ruined house, and finds a chest. Opening it, he finds an orange martial arts gi. He then hears someone sneaking around the house. He confronts the intruder. Enter Bulma!
Bulma was trying to track down her stolen 5 Star Dragon Ball, and ended up tracking Goku’s Dragon Ball instead. After clearing up some misunderstandings, Goku and Bulma team up to find the remaining Dragon Balls.
They drive off on Bulma’s capsule motorcycle, looking for Master Roshi. Bulma sees a Dragon Ball on her tracker, and it leads to a house. They break in.
While Bulma goes searching for the Dragon Ball, Goku accidentally wakes up an old drunken man. Goku and the man fight for a bit, then after the old man sees Goku using his Chi, reveals his identity. Master Roshi!
Goku tells Master Roshi about what happened to Gohan, and has some vision after touching the Dragon Ball. Master Roshi joins them to search for the rest of the Dragon Balls.
- Cut to flying Fortress -
Piccolo finds another Dragon Ball. Grats!
- The next morning -
Bulma and Master Roshi rides on the motorcycle, while Goku runs behind them carrying all the luggage. They head towards the Stone Temple, where Master Roshi will give Goku some training.
When they arrive, Goku finds Chi-Chi there. She tells him that she is there to train for an upcoming fighting tournament. Bulma picks up a Dragon Ball reading on her tracker, and Goku leaves Chi-Chi.
While on the way to the next Dragon Ball, Goku and Master Roshi does some crazy Jedi training. Bulma manages to drive into a huge hole, and they all get stuck at the bottom.
- Later that night -
They set up a campfire at the bottom of the hole, where Master Roshi tells them about the legend of the Dragon Balls. A bandit overhears the story from above, but refuses to help them out unless he is paid.
This bandit reminds me of Cody Lambert from Step by Step. Master Roshi then flies out of the hole, and forces the bandit to help them. The bandit’s name is Yamcha.
- The flying fortress -
Piccolo is sitting down in a chair that is hooked up to four needles. The four needles extracts some blood from Piccolo, which he uses to make mini-Piccolos. For a powerful bad guy, he screams like a little girl when the needles take some blood.
- Back to Goku and Company -
They keep digging deeper in search of the Dragon Ball. When they find where it is, there is an ocean of lava between them and the Dragon Ball. They are then attacked by the Piccolo minions. Goku makes a bridge out of the minions to cross over to the Dragon Ball.
He gets another vision, and is then attacked by Mai. He beats the crap out of her, and brings the Dragon Ball back. They all leave to head back to the Stone Temple.
- The Stone Temple -
Master Roshi talks to some monk about obtaining a container to stop Piccolo.
During this time, Chi-Chi is fighting in the tournament. Her opponent is Mai! Chi-Chi wins the fight, but Mai manages to draw blood, and stores some in a small capsule.
A scene with Goku and Chi-Chi, then a scene with Bulma and Yamcha. With some horrible acting.
- Goku training with Roshi -
Roshi says something about Air Bending which reminded me of Avatar, then says that the last step of Air Bending is the Kamehameha, and leaves Goku alone to train.
Goku is supposed to light a few candles with the Kamehameha. Chi-Chi shows for some encouragement, and he manages to learn it. They hook up of course.
- Middle of the night -
Bulma catches Chi-Chi sneaking out of Goku’s room in the middle of the night. Thinking that she was leaving Goku’s room after a night of “training” she lets Chi-Chi leave.
After Chi-Chi leaves, Goku shows up walking down the hall. Uh oh, Goku wasn’t in the room, and it looks like Chi-Chi made off with all the Dragon Balls. They all go to chase her down.
Chi-Chi manages to separate herself from them, but runs into… Chi-Chi! The two Chi-Chi’s fight, and Goku comes in and knocks out one of them. Uh oh, that was the real Chi-Chi he knocked out, and the other one shoots Goku in the face with some Fire Blast gun, and runs off with the Dragon Balls. She reveals herself as Mai.
The gang shows up and finds an unconscious Chi-Chi and a dead Goku. Master Roshi then revives Goku with a… wait for it… Kamehameha to the heart!
They need to head to the Dragon Temple, where Piccolo will need to go to summon Shenlong. Roshi also gets a container from the monk.
- Dragon Temple -
Piccolo and Mai gather the 7 Dragon Balls, and activates some tower. Goku and company then flies by in a flying jeep. Roshi and Piccolo shoot fireballs at each other everyone gets thrown around.
Goku shows up wearing his grandpa’s gi, and looks like an idiot. Throw in some bad acting here. Piccolo tells Goku that the vision of Ozaru, the giant ape he keeps having, is actually Goku!
Goku then transforms into Ozaru and is under Piccolo’s control, and is commanded to go after the Dragon Balls. Goku chases after Bulma and Yamcha while Roshi and Piccolo are fighting.
Roshi manages to knock Piccolo out, but Goku grabs hold of Roshi, and kills him. Goku goes through some inner battle with himself, and transforms back. He and Piccolo start having some fireball fight.
Bulma and Yamcha manages to beat Mai and recover all the Dragon Balls. Goku manages to beat Piccolo.
The go back to where Roshi is lying. Goku decides he will used the Dragon Balls to wish back Master Roshi from death. Shenlong revives Roshi, and the Dragon Balls are scattered again.
Looks like they’re on the journey to find the Dragon Balls again! But before that, Goku needs to go back to Chi-Chi and hook up with her again. The End.
Vegetta, what does your suck meter say about Dragonball Evolution!?
There is a lot of things you would find wrong with the movie, especially if you are a big Dragon Ball fan. As a movie, the lines were horrible, and the acting was terrible. You couldn’t help but just laugh at how bad it was while watching it.
Then there is all the Dragon Ball stuff that they totally f’ed up. Akira Toriyama probably cried after seeing his creation butchered like this. Why was Mai with Piccolo? Where’s Krillin? Full Moon vs Eclipse? Where’s Goku’s tail? There is a ton more questions you can ask.
I think that they should leave the manga/anime series, to the Japanese studios. They have done an excellent job with their own live-action adaptations before. A few favorites that come to mind are Battle Royale, NANA, and Death Note.
Blah it just angers me to see a beloved series like Dragon Ball get ruined.