Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Dragonball Evolution (2009)
Goku is a normal teenager living peacefully with his grandfather Gohan, trained in the art of martial arts, and how to harness his ki. On his birthday, Goku is presented with a special gift-A dragonball. He's told of the legend, how if all 7 are united, they will grant the user a wish.
Dragonball Evolution is a pretty notorious movie, considered not only an awful adaption of the famous anime, but one of the worst movies of all time! This is another of those occasions where I look at these poeple an dwonder what they've been smoking, because I think it's a wonderful movie! Not without flaws, but certainly an enjoyable time, with a lot to like
it's a bummer that grandpa Gohan dies, but at least the movie sticks to its guns, and isn't afraid to = drama without skimping. Although I seriously question why Goku wastes his wish at the end by only wishing = back! I suppose the anime made up some rule that you can only resurrect one person at a time, but that's stupid! Surely two would be fine? Especially with the amount of times people got resurrected in that darn show!
maybe it's because I sat through every story arc of Dragonball Z, from the coming of Raditz to the Frieza saga, Clone sage, Buu Saga, and everything in-between. Lemme tell ya, I have no inclination to eve sit through 30 straight episodes of training ever again! There's something = about an adaption that streamlines the whole process into 80 minutes I do wish the movie was an extra half hour though, to give some of the characters more time to =, and some scenes more time to play out. Everything is satisfactory, and works well enough as it is, but an extra minute or so for many scenes would help.
lacks some of the more fantastical elements, like the Ox King, the pig man and other talking animals, and =, but it also keeps many of the = touches. The East meets West architectural vibe, the 15 minutes into the future technology (namely the capsule cars), and =.
world It reminded me of Final Fantasy VIII, really, with the fantasy world mixed with mundane modern elements. It's an aesthetic that game nailed, and = does a decent enough job. I respect the movie for at least trying to stand out a little, and not be totally set in our normal/everyday world.
could've done without the high school drama, not because it;s badly presented, but it's all so cliched, and it's not the kind of thing I wanna see in a Dragonball movie, nor is Goku of the anime ever unconfident. I feel the movie probably shoulda set everything up then leapt straight into the adventure
characters found a decent compromise with his hair. Obviously it'd never work in live action being as high and spiky as it is in the cartoon, but they also don't skimp on it entirely, and it never looks obnoxious or stupid either. Bulma makes her entrance by immediately trying to murder/shooot Goku, so she's definitely No blue hair, but she has a highlight at least. Roshi The only drawback is he physically looks nothing like the = Roshi. Chi Chi Yamcha appears early-ish at only half an hour in, though a lot of his = is offscreen, which is a shame, but at least his character does grow nonetheless, which I appreciate he The = fake tan and surfer dude attitude not so much, but I appreciate the he doesn't dress the same as Goku, because I always felt as a kid that he was basically Goku 2.0 but without the fancy powers.
All in all a respectful and thorough attempt/effort at getting the gang from the anime together! There's no Krillin, Tien, or [weird doll thingy], but honestly who gives a shit. Also I do NOT/not envy anyone trying to = Krillin to live action!
villains Piccolo, who wants to destroy the Earth out of revenge for not letting him destroy the Earth.
weird american school touches, like lockers, or staying in school till you're 18! Lightweight Americans, you start school so late!
question why he ditches his grandpa on his birthday to go to a random party, or why he takes the Dragonball with him, but it's a good thing he does at least, given what happens!
weird school fantasy moment Dude, I get mooning over a = classmate, but the way you're leaning = is crazy/too obvious! Also, strawberries??
like that he fights while still honouring his promise
frely advocate beating the stuffing out of bullies, but great It also reminded me of moments in the anime, like when the Ginyu Force tried beating Goku up, but he was moving so fast = (you have no idea what I'm talking about, do you)
There's one thing that I'm always quick to defend this movie over, and it's any charges of racism! People say the movie is whitewashed and =, but why? The characters in the original were Japanese, sure, but this is an American adaption, who why shouldn't the lead be an American? Also, for all the bleating that this movie is automatically racist just because the lead is white, it's very diverse! You've got Asian actors for [Bulma], Chi Chi, Master Roshi, Yamcha, Mai, and Gohan, not to mention a Japanese director! If this anime is Japanese, and this film is made by a Japanese person, I really don't see where it's my place or any American's to criticise him for how he portrayed the casting/=.
Also if if I may be cynical, I really doubt any of these whingers actually knew the anime's characters weren't white. No-one here did! With the way they're drawn, any western viewers naturally assume these characters are white, which is fine. You imprint your culture [or race] on the characters you see, as was intended by the creators.
It's confident enough to make a joke about the name Chi Chi without explaining it to the English audience! If that isn't =, I don't know what is!
One of the most major criticisms levelled at this movie is for not being faithful to Dragonball Z. Well for a start I refute that =, but secondly, it's not adapting that. It's based on just plain Dragonball, and says so in the name. really makes me wonder what they even expected a Dragonball Z movie to be! Did they just assume it's skip over the entire = era? Would it compress the whole Raditz through Frieza arc in one movie? That alone is like 70 hours!
A lot of the come across as pedantic nitpicking, along the lines of "Goku doesn't have a tail, 0 stars!". But really, there's plenty of the anime here! To pick an example, superfast slapfighting is a staple of DBZ! Whether you like it or not, one can't criticise a = for including it any more than you complain about talking animals.
if people wanna criticise it for being too silly either, then I have nothing to say but = at what a hill to die on that is.
The direction is all good, for the most part, and action scenes are well filmed. The only exception is the fight scene with the shadow monsters at the volcano, which is so sloppily edited you can barely tell way's going on, and it all begins so quickly there's no build-up. Just = then BAM, rabid monster in your face.
The acting here is mostly good, though mixed in places. I like Justin Chatwin in the lead, even if he doesn't feel like Goku at all. Though his line deliveries in some spots are a little clunky (and whoever directed him during the wish granting needs to be shot!). Overall though, a valiant enough effort for a younger actor. Chow Yun Fat is similarly mixed. His deliveries are also a little = at times, though due to language barrier than his acting. He's at his best with the most comedic and most dramatic moments. James Marsters is fine as Piccolo, delivering a = villainous performance, accompanied well by Eriko Tamura. Emmy Rossum, Jamie Chung, and Joon Park all do fun jobs. The latter is sometimes annoying, but his = shines through decently enough. And lastly, noted actors like Randall Duk Kim and Ernie Hudson do really good jobs in their roles, making the most.
Overall, Dragonball Evolution is great fun to be had! Even if you don't car about = as passionately as myself, or even much care for =, this is still a fun movie to pop on to just turn your brain off for, and kill 80 minutes.
house night, piccolo on ship, 47:24, 58:42, 1:05:06, 1:14:30