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Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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3.3

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 183 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Heroic Goku is a powerful warrior who protects the Earth from an endless stream of rogues bent on dominating the Universe and controlling the mystical objects, the Dragonball. As the Master Roshi guides Goku on the young man's epic quest to save the Earth from the forces of darknes, he encounters Bulma, a beautiful woman intent on retrieving the mystical Dragonballs for her own reasons and Chi Chi, a young martial artist who captures Goku's eye. (20th Century Fox) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 10
  2. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    70
    Far more entertaining than it deserves to be, unless you're a 10-year-old boy, in which case it's only the greatest movie ever made.
  2. 70
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Joel Brown
    50
    Nearly all the actors seem to be having a good time, and the action moves so fast that you don't mind when something nuts happens.
  4. 42
    The film is crammed with treats for old-school "Dragonball" fans, from the inclusion of all these characters (who don't actually do much) to the moment when spiky-haired Goku dons his orange gi. For everyone else, this amounts to another seen-it-before, probably-willing-to-see-it-again distraction.
  5. 40
    Bottom line: costumed Goku and Chi Chi cosplayers may argue the finer points of this adaptation, but it is fairly dazzling it its own overextended, futurist-teenpulp fashion, and Chow makes a vastly more entertaining Roshi than he did a King.
  6. Reviewed by: Glenn Whipp
    40
    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 that seems to exist only to rile up fanboys. On that count -- and that count alone -- Dragonball Evolution triumphs.
  7. Completely lacking in visual, narrative or stylistic coherence, the film also suffers from cheap-looking visual effects and poorly staged and edited action sequences that will not exactly please the fanboys.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 72
  2. Negative: 44 out of 72
  1. MikeH
    Aug 29, 2009
    10
    I must say... i liked it. not so much because the movie itself was good (in any way), but because it evoked memories of the original dragon ball (and dbz), which i LOVED. 10 for the memories, 0 for the movie... averages out to 10. Expand
  2. CharlieM
    Apr 10, 2009
    8
    A great start of a series, but if theres a sequel, don't let James Wong direct, and make it a lot longer.
  3. ChrisC
    May 1, 2009
    6
    I watched dragonball heavily growing up, and in no way was this near the disappointment fans have claimed it to be. Folks expected a live-action dragonball. Well, that's impossible since dragonball is a cartoon and cartoons are completely different from live-actions. If you port a cartoon to live-action, you have to change so much to create the same entertainment value. Plus, the filmmakers had to create a story fitting for live-action that contained the right amount of bad guy-good guy contrast, which meant they had to compress tons of stuff into a film length they could market towards the one audience that's gonna bring in the money, which is not the early 20s nostalgia fan, but the 8-12 year old boy general viewer. Have you ever seen an Uwe Boll film? nuff said. This was a great action movie for kids and did the nostalgia job pretty well for the older fan. Expand
  4. PriscillaM.
    Apr 12, 2009
    1
    Honestly, I was less than dissatisfied. I'm a really big fan of the manga and anime and enjoy cosplaying as well. As a fan, I shouldn't have had ANY expectations because I already knew how much Ben Ramsey screwed up the story.As well, it's sad Fox was desperate enough for a movie script during the writer's strike, they pulled this one up. I recall reading what was apparently a leaked script, and this movie follows it pretty closely, except James Wong removed the "trading card game" from the movie. Yes, the cast were going to play a card game based on what their adventure would be. Don't ask... Aside from the movie being so inaccurate to the series (and the omission of important character while being substituted for useless ones who appear for a mere 1 to 5 minutes max), the editing and acting was sub-par. The movie was WAY too rushed (in my opiion, it should have been the length of Harry Potter.) The acting was at the point my stomach churned. I did chuckle twice during the entire movie. Yes, I counted. The final fight was too short and anti-climatic. The special effects and Shenlong were so-so. In addition, I wasn't impressed at the randomness of the locations, the poorly paced timing of the script, and the "convience" of the Fullum Assassins. Everything seemed to easy and cliche. I'm happy I got to see this pile of poo for free. Either a reboot is necessary in a few years by another distributor and production company, or no sequel should be made. Take your pick. Expand
  5. RamiroT
    Jun 1, 2009
    1
    i like watching the cartoons...BUT this movie SUCKED soooooo bad..you guys need to put more things too it..like the cartoons..you disappointed me AND the faNs of DBZ..YOU BETTER STEP IT UP..And make the next DBZ movie BETTER. Expand
  6. Jan 6, 2014
    0
    Worse than Gaius Expand
  7. May 9, 2012
    0
    Making a live action dragonball movie was a ridiculous idea to begin with. How the hell could they expect it to be any good? Think of all the great humor, action, emotion, dialog, and rich story that was crammed into every 20 minute episode. Think of how difficult, expensive, and time-consuming the show was to create. And that was just animated!

    A decent live-action DB movie would need the original writers and probably take a decade to produce. Not to mention that the amount of capital needed to create it is inconceivable.

    Aside from all that, if someone told me that the people responsible for this movie did an "okay" job with the resources they had, I would laugh until I threw up. Everything that made Dragonball the wildly entertaining series that we all loved was excluded from this movie. The characters differed from the originals in every way. The original Goku was a playful, honorable, child-like(yet god-like) , warrior/hero. This Goku is a brown-haired, blue-eyed, scrawny white kid who talks and behaves nothing like the original. The series was filled with diverse characters and a deep storyline. This movie is empty and half-assed. A pathetic imitation.
    Expand

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