Dragonball: Evolution is a 2009 American action-adventure science fantasy film directed by James Wong of The X-Files, Space: Above and Beyond, and Final Destination fame. The film is based on the Japanese Dragon Ball manga by Akira Toriyama, and stars Justin Chatwin, Emmy Rossum, James Marsters, Jamie Chung, Chow Yun-fat, Joon Park and Eriko Tamura.
The movie was met with extremely negative reception from critics, viewers, fans, and even Akira Toriyama himself, who commissioned the production of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' years after this movie’s release. Screenwriter Ben Ramsey has since apologized for the film, saying that "to have something with my name on it as the writer be so globally reviled is gut wrenching. To receive hate mail from all over the world is heartbreaking".
When his grandfather Gohan (Randall Duk Kim) is killed by the vengeful Lord Piccolo (Marsters), Goku (Chatwin), along with Master Roshi (Yun-fat), Bulma (Rossum), and Yamcha (Park), goes on a quest to find the seven Dragon Balls before Piccolo can use them to destroy the world.
Why It Sucks
- Poor acting, especially from Justin Chatwin (the future voice actor for Knuckles the Echidna in a Sonic the Hedgehog movie).
- Incurrent techniques with terrible fight choreography.
- The film doesn't follow the manga and anime’s storyline.
- Unacceptably poor grasp of the source material. For example:
- In the original manga and anime, Goku is a naive 12-year-old kid who has no idea what a girl is and never had any proper schooling. But in this film, Goku is an angsty 18-year-old high school student who already has a crush on Chi-Chi (Chung).
- In a scene of the movie, Goku uses the Kamehameha, he randomly starts flying up into King Piccolo for no reason whatsoever.
- Master Roshi using the Kamehameha wave to revive Goku after he gets shot by one of the villains.
- Goku gets killed by an ordinary bullet. In the original manga and anime, bullets barely affected him, to the point where they felt like mere bee stings.
- Awful special effects.
- The CGI and greenscreen backgrounds look like something out of a poorly-made PS2 game.
- The movie is filled with plotholes aplenty, like how Piccolo escapes from prison.
- Goku is supposedly a disrespectful team captain who is racist and sings in high school when he is not supposed to.
- All of the characters are grossly miscast and look almost nothing like their original counterparts.
- Basically it's the worst live-action Hollywood anime adaptation of all time setting the bar low for other terrible Hollywood adaptations of beloved anime such as Ghost in the Shell and Death Note.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- Good soundtrack.