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

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Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 204 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
    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
    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
    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 77
  2. Negative: 49 out of 77
  1. MikeH
    Aug 29, 2009
    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
    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
    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. GrantR
    Apr 11, 2009
    It gets one point for CGI. Now aside from that, this is a piece of trash nor matter if your a DBZ fan or simply an action movie fan. Acting: awful, and not in the funny way. Story: well, if they stayed with accurate representations of the anime and the characters within it, then they might've had a little something going for them, but they butchered all that and replaced it instead with "things". Apparently Bulma duel-wields pistols now (never did in the anime; never really needed to), Goku gets knocked unconscious by normal bullets, Master Roshi is a turtle hermit at all. Piccolo has an unidentified female sidekick who uses guns and can fight for some odd reason, etc. This is a sesspool of a movie. Don't PAY to see this Expand
  5. Dec 15, 2011
    I don't think this film could appeal to anyone. It destroys the story (and general greatness) of the manga and anime series (Goku as a high-schooler who is too nervous to talk to girls, why?) too much to even be viewed as funny bad for fans of dragonball. It's too bad for kids, seriously, my younger brother, who is the target age for the film didn't like it. It will annoy anybody who even tries to watch it. I Can't fathom what brought the creators to get the license for a much-loved franchise and to completely kill anything that was good about it in a terrible film. Dragonball could make a good film, but this is most definitely NOT it. Why, just why? Expand
  6. Jan 6, 2014
    Worse than Gaius Expand
  7. Nov 30, 2011
    One of the worst movies Ive watched. The characters arent the same as the manga or anime. The plot blows. The ending was one of the worst their budget must have been what 5 dollars? The special effects were soem of the worst Expand

See all 77 User Reviews