User Score
2.6

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 251 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 251

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User Reviews

  1. JulioJ
    Apr 10, 2009
    7
    I didn't see many things to critisize besides the obvious wire work and that I expected more action from it, it was pretty good, better than I thought it would be. I'd REALLY like to see more from it if there is a sequel to satisfy the fans.
  2. MamieD
    Apr 13, 2009
    8
    My family and I liked it. It was a pleasant diversion, the hero did not whine and the rest of the characters were likeable. It made sense of the occasional Dragonball Z cartoons I had seen. We liked it well enough to buy the dvd because we would enjoy watching it again.
  3. 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.
  4. Ericmbuta
    Apr 10, 2009
    9
    Good, I also though it would be worse. I'm a HUGE fan of the anime, the movie doesn't totally do it justice but it does bring an interesting twist to the story, I hope it will continue through to the final saga!
  5. DJR
    Apr 12, 2009
    10
    I thought the movie was awesome! I used to watch dragonball all the time when I was a younger kid, and I've always dreamed of it one day coming to life on the big screen. And it turned out better than I thought! I expected more action and for it to be longer though. But there's always sequels!
  6. beng
    Apr 10, 2009
    7
    Seriously, the movie was very cheesy and if you can get past the corny acting and the lack of closeness to the source material it was an overall well done movie. The action scenes were pretty sweet with the slowdowns in some of the fights bringing some good laughs from the crowd. Of course some of the movie sucked like the fact that is was only 90 minutes or so when it should have been at Seriously, the movie was very cheesy and if you can get past the corny acting and the lack of closeness to the source material it was an overall well done movie. The action scenes were pretty sweet with the slowdowns in some of the fights bringing some good laughs from the crowd. Of course some of the movie sucked like the fact that is was only 90 minutes or so when it should have been at least 2 hours or more to better explain the story. If you haven't seen any of the original DragonBall stuff you will be confused a little bit and it does break from the source material but in some ways it is a good thing. I am going to buy it when it comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray. Expand
  7. 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.
  8. JaredG
    Apr 10, 2009
    10
    I give this movie a perfect ten. And to all those haters out there did you really expect a perfect adaptation? That would be completely unrealistic. This movie brings a sense of realism that really made me love it. I am gladly going to see it again and again. Props to Chow and Justin! Great job guys!
  9. RickH
    Apr 10, 2009
    9
    I was pleasantly surprised that the movie was as god as it was. While there were a few minor details I (as a fan) would have changed; character appearance, characters included; etc. the movie was still worth seeing and greatly exceeded my expectations. I expected a poo fest and received pure gold that kept my adrenaline peeked the whole time.
  10. TyroneN-S
    Apr 12, 2009
    7
    Nowhere near as bad as everyone seems to think it is. It's funny, just like the original series. It relies on adventure, just like the original series. The plot is pretty much identical to the original series, give or take a few things. There isn't alot of action, just like the original series. So yeah, it's pretty much just like the original Dragonball series. If you go in Nowhere near as bad as everyone seems to think it is. It's funny, just like the original series. It relies on adventure, just like the original series. The plot is pretty much identical to the original series, give or take a few things. There isn't alot of action, just like the original series. So yeah, it's pretty much just like the original Dragonball series. If you go in expecting a Dragonball Z movie, you'll be disappointed, because it's not based on Dragonball Z, it's based on Dragonball. Go in expecting a film that, even with it's many shortcomings, it's shit loads of fun. Expand
  11. ArkiQ
    Apr 13, 2009
    7
    Entertaning movie but it never gets to the "wow" moment. The final fight was a total anti-climax and some aspects of the story were changed for the worse. It was better than i expected it to be but still... i don't feel like watching it again... ever. If there's a sequel, i hope they make it better and with fights worthy of the original series.
  12. DaveJ
    Apr 26, 2009
    8
    A lot better than I was expecting! Fun fights, genuinely funny moments, and a certain visual charm I can't quite put my finger on. While not nearly the best film in the world, I felt pretty satisfied, both as an avid film goer, and a fan of the manga series prior.
  13. ThomasP
    Aug 17, 2009
    10
    You know what, I watched this movie because I thought it was going to be terrible and I wanted a good laugh I got two things, a good movie, and an AMAZING time. This movie is FANTASTIC! Yes, it's Dragonball NOT Dragonball Z; glad we got past that bit. This movie was ridiculous, and over the top ALL the time, which is exactly why I enjoyed it. Goku was not some little emo kid like You know what, I watched this movie because I thought it was going to be terrible and I wanted a good laugh I got two things, a good movie, and an AMAZING time. This movie is FANTASTIC! Yes, it's Dragonball NOT Dragonball Z; glad we got past that bit. This movie was ridiculous, and over the top ALL the time, which is exactly why I enjoyed it. Goku was not some little emo kid like some people claim, just a teenager who hasn't been given the chance to show that he can kick some butt. Chi Chi is the only one I had a problem with, just because I chose to. Bulma was freakin hott. Yamcha was just as scam filled as ever. Master Roshi was VERY master Roshi. Piccalo was a hoot with how he looked, but come on, how much makeup would it take to make someone look like piccalo?? I really hope they are able to make the second and third ones; I expected to be disappointed, but I guess I'm glad I wasn't! Expand
  14. PeteM
    Aug 3, 2009
    7
    Solid movie. Not great obviously, but it was interesting to see what they did with the characters. Seems like fans of the series are looking for reasons to hate on this movie just because it's not the series.
  15. CylerH
    Apr 12, 2009
    7
    Yes the film did suffer from poor directing and much-needed visual aids but in the end u cant do much better than what they have given other than if its animated like it original Anime. And if you review a movie learn how to spell right Dean Dum ass Mqueen. I give you a zero for pure stupidity
  16. FarhadM
    Apr 13, 2009
    7
    This movie is pretty good, in a so bad it's good way. The story sucks, as a Dragonball fan even I couldn't understand half of it. However, if you switch yur brain ff you can enjoy the exciting action sequences and cheesy dislogue.
  17. DakotaG
    Apr 18, 2009
    10
    I don't know why everyone seemed to hate this movie. This was an amazing movie! Everybody doesn't seem to get that this is an adaptation of the anime series. And also, for those of you who really wanted Vegeta, you must not be true dragonball fans because if you knew dragonball well enough, you would know that this was dragonball, not dragonball z and vegeta doesnt come in until I don't know why everyone seemed to hate this movie. This was an amazing movie! Everybody doesn't seem to get that this is an adaptation of the anime series. And also, for those of you who really wanted Vegeta, you must not be true dragonball fans because if you knew dragonball well enough, you would know that this was dragonball, not dragonball z and vegeta doesnt come in until dragonball z. I really liked pretty much everything about this movie. I liked the new story and how they changed it up a bit. I really liked the special effects and all the casting (except for yamcha) was great. My one big issue with the movie was that it was so short that i didnt feel really connected to any of these characters, other than Goku. If they would have made it at least another half an hour it wouldve been a perfect movie. I wish they wouldve showed more Picolo. I can't wait for the sequel!!! Expand
  18. Jul 31, 2015
    10
    The best dragonball movie i've ever had the pleasure of watching, truely awesome! The movie was so enjoyable that i've found myself watching it multiple times, something i can't say with most other movies.
Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 10
  2. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. 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 male fanbase.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.