DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION (Blu-ray Edition)|
20th Century Fox | 2009 | 85 mins | Rated PG | Jul 28, 2009
Written by Jason Flick
August 4, 2009
Dragonball is one of the most iconic mangas to ever grace paper all over the world. Dragonball has spawned three anime TV series and countless feature films over the years. Now some years later, the world receives a live-action adaptation that to some is nothing more than a means to rile up the fanboys/girls across the globe. I am no stranger to the Dragonball sagas, having seen pretty much every episode to date. I don’t consider myself a fanboy, despite the knowledge of the DB universe that I hold, as I have friends that could put me in my place without breaking a sweat. So without further wait I give you my review of Dragonball: Evolution - Z Edition on Blu-Ray.
I will stress that this film is an adaptation of the anime and manga that myself and countless other fans grew up with. It is also the first film in an announced trilogy, so I first approached viewing this film on Blu-Ray with an open mind, since I didn’t get a chance to see it in theaters. To be honest after watching it, I liked it. Sure, I spotted the things that would drive certain people insane, but the film could have been a lot worse (i.e. Bloodrayne).
The story of Dragonball: Evolution revolves loosely around “The King Piccolo Saga” from the anime. Though certain liberties were taken to make this film realistic and yet somewhat true to its source. In this film Son Goku (Justin Chatwin) is tasked with finding all of the famed Dragonballs, of which he has one, before Evil Lord Piccolo (James Marsters) does to grant the one perfect wish to banish Piccolo from this world. Along the way, he befriends and teams up with Bulma (Emmy Rossum), Yamcha (Joon Park), Master Roshi (Chow Yun-Fat) and love interest Chi-Chi (Jamie Chung).
Dragonball: Evolution is filled with all sorts of martial arts scenes that will please pretty much anybody. There are two fights in the film that I particularly liked. The first being the fight at Chi-Chi’s party, which was really cool considering Goku didn’t threw a punch and the bullies ended up beating themselves up. Sort of reminded me of something you would see in a Jackie Chan film. It was even better when combined with Justin’s lines as he out maneuvered the school jerks.
The second scene that I enjoyed was the double Chi-Chi fight sequence. This fight was the most difficult sequence to film according to director James Wong. Actress Jamie Chung had to portray two different versions of Chi-Chi to make the scene believable. She along with the camera crew had to get every movement right to make this sequence work as well as having both Jamie’s face on the screen at the same time. I agree that the film would have collapsed on itself if this scene hadn’t worked.
Personally I think that all of the actors did a good job of portraying the iconic characters from the anime. Chow Yun-Fat’s performance as an outlandish mentor is enjoyable. It’s interesting to see him outside of his normal stoic image. Justin Chatwin’s portrayal of Son Goku is pretty good. His character doesn’t start out as the Goku that we all know but he quickly becomes that fighter with the aid of his friends. Jamie Chung’s performance is one of the highlights of the film for me and the confrontation between Goku and Chi-Chi at the end is classic Dragonball. Emmy Rossum is perfect in her portrayal of Bulma and I look forward to possibly seeing her in the sequels.