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. May 28, 2012
    5
    Its somewhat enjoyable and if you are familiar with any of the dragonball shows, you'll probably feel the nastalgia. Its way better than The Last Airbender.
  2. May 18, 2012
    4
    I've started this movie about 4 times but every time I turn it off because I fall asleep or lose interest. What a shame on the series. Stick to the anime. But set your expectations for this film at 0 and you might actually appreciate it a bit. I give it a 4/10 because I see it as an ode to the series. Still, don't watch it if you aren't a dragonball fan
  3. Feb 18, 2011
    5
    If you are in your early twenties hoping for some epic case of nostalgia -reminisce of those wasted nights of youth spent watching a dozen DBZ episodes, of course with Japanese subs- this isn't the movie for you.

    If you are looking for a fun action movie to kill time, take a look. But really, nothing special here.
  4. dynamik008
    Aug 14, 2009
    5
    NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK. And believe me on that one. I was one of those people who kept on bashing the previews and saying over and over that this was gonna be the worst movie ever. A nightmare to all true DBZ fans. I also kept sayin "I know it's gonna be bad, but I'm still watching it because It's f***ing Dragon Ball!!! It's gonna suck though" but after I saw the NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK. And believe me on that one. I was one of those people who kept on bashing the previews and saying over and over that this was gonna be the worst movie ever. A nightmare to all true DBZ fans. I also kept sayin "I know it's gonna be bad, but I'm still watching it because It's f***ing Dragon Ball!!! It's gonna suck though" but after I saw the movie, it wasn't all that bad. It really has almost nothing to do with Dragon Ball, it's just related somehow with character names and super human abilities, but thats it. The whole movie runs by way too fast, and when it was done, I wished they have made it longer. It's still a bad movie, but it was entertaining. It also has a good sense a humor, which is good. If your a DBZ fan, just watch it. You probably wont like it, but... it's DBZ, so watch it. Expand
  5. AndyL
    Aug 1, 2009
    5
    Dragonball anime is cack anyway and even if this was the greatest film ever made the sad little "cool to be controversial" fanboys are going to slate it. As a stand alone movie its average. Mortal Kombat the movie average.
  6. JayH
    Jul 31, 2009
    4
    Rather silly and juvenile nonsense. There are some decent special effects. The acting by the young actors in the film is poor, which very much effects the film.
  7. FozzyB
    Jul 30, 2009
    5
    I would consider myself a Dragonball Z fan, not a Dragonball fan. For those who don't know better, Dragonball Z is the "sequel" to Dragonball. This movie is about the Dragonball storyline (which is where I see a lot of fan comments not being able to connect the dots). Overall, it wasn't bad. They tried very hard (no easy task) to turn the cartoon into a movie and I think they I would consider myself a Dragonball Z fan, not a Dragonball fan. For those who don't know better, Dragonball Z is the "sequel" to Dragonball. This movie is about the Dragonball storyline (which is where I see a lot of fan comments not being able to connect the dots). Overall, it wasn't bad. They tried very hard (no easy task) to turn the cartoon into a movie and I think they succeeded in preventing what could have been way too over the top stuff being crammed into a film. However, they did so at the cost of skipping way to much explanation and missing out even more on character development. I'm ok with the story changes. Those are expected in a live-action translation. I'm not ok with the poor choreography for the fight sequences and the even cheesier special effects. It's was like every time a cool punch was going to be thrown and see, they instead cut away to terrible angle so they didn't have to animate the special effects or something. In the end, the movie just didn't feel important. It didn't really stink, it was just un-important. And I'm sure many people wanted to feel good about it at the end, instead. Expand
  8. GordonC
    May 15, 2009
    6
    modern day action movie with some old world mystic, and some Kung-Fu thrown in. The special effects is a must see.
  9. 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 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
  10. ChadS
    Apr 13, 2009
    4
    Since Chi Chi(Jamie Chung) is a competitive fighter and can hold her own against the men, "Dragonball: Evolution" misses a golden opportunity to evoke the Japanese translation of her name, which is "father", by having the young woman taunt her prospective vanquished male opponent with a lusty, "Who's your daddy?" Chi Chi also has a second meaning; it's slang for a part of the Since Chi Chi(Jamie Chung) is a competitive fighter and can hold her own against the men, "Dragonball: Evolution" misses a golden opportunity to evoke the Japanese translation of her name, which is "father", by having the young woman taunt her prospective vanquished male opponent with a lusty, "Who's your daddy?" Chi Chi also has a second meaning; it's slang for a part of the woman's anatomy, the breast. In Laurent Cantet's "Entre les murs", a Parisian middle school teacher calls two ethnic female students, "skanks", without realizing that the term in their culture is slang for "prostitute". To him, a "skank" means somebody who is talkative. Mr. Marin(Francois Begaudeau) gets the benefit of the doubt. "Dragonball: Evolution" gets the benefit of the doubt, too, in the scene where Chi Chi fights a doppleganger. The second Chi Chi transforms her namesake into an anatomical one, because now we see two Chi-Chis("chi-chis" from the Spanish), beautiful, to boot. The fake Chi Chi was trying to steal the dragonballs. There's seven of them, but the film title refers to just the one "Dragonball", which to me, suggests a mythical creature who survived a bout of testicular cancer. The other ball collectors have self-defeating names, too. Besides Chi Chi, there's Goku(Justin Chatwin), playing yet another version of the "Karate Kid", and then there's Bulma(Emmy Rossum), who to my disappointment, never eats anything. Thankfully, at eighty-plus minutes, there's enough time to physically collect just three of the seven dragonballs. "Dragonball: Evolution" also stars Chow-Yun Fat, who slums along happily in a comic performance that shows off an unbeknownst funny side to the usually stoic star of "Crouching Tiger: Hidden Dragon". He's a bit of a perv. In one scene, he puts a hand on Bulma's knee while they share a motorcycle. He probably notices her chi-chis. Expand
  11. RyanT.
    Apr 11, 2009
    6
    It was actually pretty good, and was better than I expected. I like the way they modernized the look of the Dragonball and its characters. But it was just too short, just like this review.
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.