For someone who isn’t up to speed on the 25-year-long Dragonball story-line (that’s right, I wiki’d it), I figured I’d be able to at least enjoy a fun action/sci-fi combo movie without comparing every frame to it’s source material like I did back in March (why didn’t Hollis Mason Die?!?!?). Well, It seems the cast and crew of Dragonball: Evolution had something else in mind for their audience, as they sat us down to 90 minutes of three-dimensional actors pretending to be two-dimensional characters in a three-dimensional piece-of-junk. Occasionally, this is alright (see Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?). But here, it reached new levels of what is commonly known in the film industry as “crap”.
This project even managed to bring together actors like Chow Yun-Fat, Buffy‘s James Marsters and…Ernie Hudson, of all people. But C-list names like these couldn’t save the film from the rest of the cast. In spite of the high school drama-level acting, the action was at least entertaining enough. One of the first lines of the film is: “The first rule is: there are no rules.” This is nice because it helps suspend the disbelief that Asian folks can fly and shoot fire from their hands.
Speaking of fire-hands, the special effects were on-par, or a bit of a step down from, last year’s Speed Racer. It seemed like much of the secondary sequences were done at the last minute, while the big scenes, including the final fight scene, looked pretty good. The most impressive effect in the film was the ability to get Justin Chatwin’s hair to stand up on end without looking as bad as Twilight‘s Robert Pattinson.
The third act of the film gets real dicey and involves, in no particular order, a warlord alien, a were-monkey (like a werewolf, but with a tail), an over-the-top aerial fight scene, and a wish-granting dragon. If that wasn’t enough, the creative intellectuals behind this picture send the audience home with the classic Rocky 3 ending which is about as hight as they seem to want to aspire. So if one, or all, of those things are your cup of tea and seem worth the ten bucks, feel free to go catch Dragonball: Evolution. If not, wait for it to hit basic cable.