Dragonball Evolution – WTF.

14 03 2009

Out of a lack of exciting things to do, and a craving to while time away in a cinema, I ended up watching Dragonball Evolution today. Marina Square Golden Village lacks good movies 😦 

It was so bad, it was actually entertaining -.-

In fact, I found the advertisements before the movie lame enough, such that I began to suspect my TV hiatus may have been too long already. (Think Singapore drug ads which could have been anything else….)

Well the movie began with the first in a series of frighteningly bad cliches – Goku (the protagonist) engaging in what seems to be a daily ritual of sparring against his grandfather Gohan, replete with the typical CGI effects of a Chinese action film. Thing is, these days nobody is really wowed by the exoticness of 2 guys fighting upside down while hanging from 2 parallel ropes -.-  

More cliches include: 

  1. Goku’s “favourites” which Gohan cooks for him: chicken feet, sparrow tongues and pigeons. Most Chinese probably wouldn’t find this strange in the first place.  Wait, is Goku even supposed to be Chinese?!!?!??! 
  2. Geek going for Hot Girl, and gets her in the end with his hitherto-unexposed talents. This is self-explanatory.
  3. Making an army of attackers punch themselves by using awesome evasion skills.
  4. One-size-fits-all trump move: Kamehameha. 
  5. Damsel-in-distress being unable to open her locker. 
  6. “You know, there’s so much we have in common…” – yeah, besides being kungfu-proficient Asian stereotypes? Try that line on a girl at a bar. 


The presence of stock characters – Goku the Asian Geek, Chi Chi the Hot Asian Girl who falls for the geek, the esoteric Roushi etc, in addition to the abovementioned cliches and exaggerated motions repeated again and again throughout the film, make for more than an hour of continuous facepalming.

Also, I noticed that the motion for Kamehameha is the SAME almost every time round. I wonder if changing the sequence of actions will affect the strength of the attack. A friend actually commented that it resembled Para Para..

What got my goat was how the adaptation of Dragonball into an American high school context was a complete flop. In fact, I don’t even see the point of it at all. The high school setting only serves a minimal purpose within the plot by acting as a medium for Goku to meet, and impress Chi Chi. Hell, one would even expect the high school bullies to play a greater part in Goku’s journey of self-discovery beyond being convenient props for him to show off his skills to Chi Chi. 

The whole movie just gave off the vibes of a B grade HK action flick: lots of high impact action with little explanation and CGI overkill with a WTF plotline and passe slapstick humour. 

Lines that would have sounded alright in a B grade HK action flick sound so wrong in English that I couldn’t help laughing. 

There were so many of them, I can’t remember a single one -.- 

There were also a few parts in the movie that I did not understand, possibly because I have never watched/read Dragonball prior to watching this joke of an adaptation. Namely, WTF the scene with Piccolo and Mai bursting in on a little hut in some place that doesn’t seem to be anywhere on earth, and the final scene where Piccolo, after being destroyed, is seen lying in the hut, being tended to. 

In all fairness, at least the ending theme was nice: Rule by Hamasaki Ayumi. 

“Just because my name is Chi Chi (boob) doesn’t mean I’m an idiot.”  – imagine this said in a sultry sexy voice.

Now try and take her,  and the rest of the movie seriously :O 



Then watch the credits and realise that the film was produced by Stephen Chow. 

Acting: 5/10 

Plot: 2/10 

Effects: 3/10 not very spectacular for a movie that relies heavily on them.

Final Rating: 4/10 (+2 for entertainment value)

Oh and, it’s White Day!




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