- Actors: , , , ,
- Region: Region B/2 (Read more about .)
- Number of discs: 2
- Classification: PG
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Live action feature film based on the manga by Akira Toriyama. Justin Chatwin stars as the young warrior Son Goku, who, at the request of his dying grandfather (Randall Duk Kim) sets out on a quest to to find the great Master Roshi (Yun-Fat Chow) and collect all seven magical Dragon Balls. Goku must race against time to gather the mystical orbs before the power-hungry King Piccolo (James Marsters) appropriates them for his own evil purposes.
Co-produced by Hong Kong legend Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle), Dragonball Evolution is an agreeable if low-wattage live action adaptation of the iconic manga and anime series Dragon Ball. Director James Wong fuses the series’ fantasy-based characters and devices with a somewhat lacklustre storyline involving average teen Goku (Justin Chatwin), who breaks from his wholesale pining for classmate Chi-Chi (Jamie Chung) to find that he’s at the center of an intergalactic search for the all-powerful Dragonballs by evil warlord Piccolo (Buffy’s James Marsters). With the help of master Roshi (Chow Yun-Fat, who backburners his stoic screen image in favor of some God of Gamblers/Once a Thief-level hamminess), Goku develops his fighting skills to take on Piccolo and save the Earth. The film’s abundance of martial arts should please younger and less discerning viewers, but its hackneyed dialogue and sluggish pace (especially in the fight scenes, which stutter where they should flow) may disappoint longtime fans of the book and television adaptations. The CGI effects, which labour mightily to reproduce the source material’s eye-popping look, also fall short, though the cast is game, especially Marsters and Chow.--Paul Gaita,