Dragonball Evolution

Dragonball Evolution

James Wong (2009)

PG Certificate
Thursday 3:05pm - 4:45pm Film4
See Repeats
Tue 30 Jul, 3:10pm - 4:50pm Film4


Our Score
It's hard to see why Akira Toriyama's manga franchise ever became such a multi-media phenomenon from director James Wong's bland, simplistic and condensed-to-basics live-action version. A band of young warriors led by geeky teen Goku (Justin Chatwin, in an epic piece of miscasting) try to bring together seven powerful dragonballs to stop evil Lord Piccolo (James Marsters) destroying earth. From The Karate Kid and Star Wars to Superman via Bruce Lee, there's nothing here that hasn't been seen countless times before. Trying to re-create the anime cartoon look with real actors just doesn't work: the resulting bad wigs, unconvincing make-up, cheesy dialogue ("The first rule is there are no rules") and cheap special effects all underline the film's two-dimensional origins. Young boys might buy the colourful action, the faux-Jedi mysticism and Chow Yun-Fat's inane wackiness as Goku's guru, but for anyone else it's a waste of time.


An ordinary teenager is recruited by a mystical martial arts master for a vitally important quest. He must find seven magical spheres before they fall into the hands of an evil warlord, who intends to use their power to let him take over the world. Fantasy adventure based on the Japanese cartoon series, starring Justin Chatwin, Chow Yun-Fat and James Marsters.

Cast & Crew

Goku Justin Chatwin
Master Roshi Chow Yun-Fat
Lord Piccolo James Marsters
Bulma Emmy Rossum
Chi Chi Jamie Chung
Yamcha Joon Park
Mai Eriko Tamura
Grandpa Gohan Randall Duk Kim
Director James Wong
see more

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: 20th Century FoxAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 3 Apr 2009