Hey folks, Valkor here. When you translate a property from one medium to the next, you tend to add or subtract to make said property viable to whatever medium you translate it to. Take for instance Mortal Kombat the video game turning it into a movie. At the time, it wasn’t bad. It was super cheesy, but a lot of fun. Then there was Street Fighter the video game. Animated, it wasn’t that bad; But the live action film? WTF!!!? Where am I going with this? Well today I got the chance to check out “Dragon Ball”; a manga, turned anime, now a live action film. In each rendition, things were added or taken away to make it viable. Of course with the live action film, a lot of liberties were taken, and what we ended up with… well read on.
First off the film is called Dragon Ball: Evolution. But fuck that I’m calling it Dragon Ball and you can take your “Evolution”, FOX (or whoever thought it was a good idea to put “Evolution” at the end of Dragon Ball”), and stick it up your dickhole. (That’s right I said it.) Anywho, the story of Dragon Ball revolves around a teenage Goku (Justin Chatwin), who is coming of age and coming to terms with his abilities. Yea he’s strong, but he learned that he doesn’t have to always take the offense, because sometimes a good offense is a good defense right? Well he’s having a tough time as a teenager; his peers think he’s a geek and they call him names like “Gecko” or “Geeko”. But he shows them later on. Also he really wants to bury his bone in Chi Chi (Jamie Chung), who by the way, has PerfectView written all over that body. Meanwhile there’s this guy name Piccolo (James Marsters), along with his sidekick Mai (Eriko Tamura), who'se off looking for seven Dragon Balls. With all seven of them he plans to destroy the planet, but then he later says he’s gonna rule it… which is it? His quest leads him to Gohan’s (Randall Duk Kim) house, Goku’s grandfather, where he kills (barely) Gohan trying to find the four-star Dragon Ball. It’s when Goku returns that he learns more of what he must do before his grandfather kicks it, which leads to him meeting Bulma Briefs (Emmy Rossum), who's also in search of the Dragon Balls. Together they set off to find Master Roshii (Chow Yun-Fat), with a mission to find the seven Dragon Balls before Piccolo does. In doing this Goku will learn more about himself, learn some new abilities, kick a lot of ass, and get the ever so sexy girl.
You know this is the most I’ve ever used the word “Ball(s)” in a review.
I knew practically nothing about the film going in, because I didn’t want to see it done. 1) Because I didn’t think it could be properly translated, 2) Its Dragon Ball, an ok anime at best. Why not make a movie from Dragon Ball Z? And 3) I wasn’t feelin the main actor, Justin Chatwin as Goku. Well after I watched the film, twice, I have to say: Nice Job! Seriouslly, I enjoyed the hell out of this flick. It wasn’t perfect, but damn it, it was a lot of fun. Justin Chatwin as Goku; I don’t know how they were able to give you anime eyes, but with that plus the hair, yea you work as Goku. I’m also gonna give it up to Chow Yun-fat as Master Roshi, who was funny, but they could have made him a little more perverted. The fight scenes were pretty good, could have been more and the final fight could have been a lot better. But they did have guys getting thrown through mountains, and if that didn’t happen I would have been pissed. Overall, I was impressed with the final product; but it’s definitely not perfect…
Ok here we go. I know my bad outweigh the good, and with that I should really hate Dragon Ball, but I don’t. With that out the way, first thing I didn’t like about the movie, is the length. 70 plus minutes is too damn short and they could have easily made it an even more entertaining film i.e.: extending Goku and Chi Chi’s relationship, maybe start off with Goku as a kid, growing up, training more, etc. I wanted more of Bulma’s capsules, more of the tournament, and damn it with more time they could have easily put Krillin in and he would have made for a better comic relief than Yamacha (Joon Park). Next Piccolo: His original costume design should have been kept, and he could have been made to look less evil; seeing as how he eventually teams up with Goku to fight a greater evil than himself… an evil who will eventually team up with them to fight another… greater..evil… uhhhhh..... we move on. And finally with a longer movie, the journey to find the remaining Dragon Balls would have been better, more fulfilled because we can get to know and care about the characters more, instead everything is so rushed. And finally, the remaining cast? Meh!
Two things that got completely fucked up in this film; First, Goku turns into a giant monkey. Did someone NOT read the manga? Did anyone not watch the anime? For those who don’t know this, in Dragon Ball, Goku only turns into the monkey when he sees a full moon, but in order for this to work HE NEEDS HIS FUCKING TAIL! Because as we learn in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, if the tail is cut off, they can’t grow into this destructive, simian, force. If Goku doesn’t have a tail, then the monkey should have been left on the cutting room floor. And two: How do you fuck up Shenron (Shenlon)? In the anime and manga, Shenron is this massive Dragon, I’m talkin HUGE! Instead we get this pipsqueak, baby Shenron… Why man? Just why?
You know what would have made this film 10 times better? Naked boobs! But honestly I hope there’s a director’s cut, that will maybe give us more of a story, with a touch more action. But as it stands, even with all the bad and all the ugly, I still think Dragon Ball is a fun movie and worth the cost of a movie ticket. I had my doubts and most of them have been validated, but if you’re looking for a good time and have never seen or read the series, then go for the experience. If you’re a fan, hard core or other wise, I still say check it out, it’s not that bad. Out of 5 TOV stars, I’m giving the film 3.5. You think if there is another film, they’ll call it Dragon Ball Z? Hmmm…. Doubt it. Might get some stupid person go “Duuuuuhhhhhhhhhh! Why is it Z and not Dragon Ball: Evolution 2?” Eat a damn dick, stupid!
Jamie can drain my Dragon Balls any day.