To get right to the point, the popular Dragonball anime has evoloved itself past basic cable to solidifying itself a place on premium movie channels. Dragonball: Evolution should not be seen in theatres. That’s not saying that it’s a horrible film. It was a film worth sitting through and experiencing. It might even gain something through repeated viewings. It’s just not a movie people should go out of their way to see, and it’s far from a gateway film for the actual series.
A few friends as well as a few sources on the internet suggested that DBE (which got a tongue-in-cheek reference from Bulma early in the movie) would be an entertaining film. I cannot say I was lied to in any form. Existing solely as a means of entertainment, it was fine. I sat through the film without walking out. It was not bad. I think I feel shorted because the movie was not challenging in the least.
The movie is about as simple as you can get: outsider teenager goes on a quest to not only save the world from a villain who spends a total of 20 minutes on-screen but also to become a man. Becoming a man, of course, requires that he get together with his love interest. Kind of boring when looking at what it has accomplished. Very little time was invested in what Goku’s dual identity entails, which is much more intriguing than anything else. Maybe we’ll get that in the sequel, if it ever comes to pass.
My biggest problem with DBE, though, is that it felt horribly truncated. I understand that it was an abridged version of a 200+ episode TV series, yet it seemed like it was an abridged version of itself. The editing was horrible. It gave the impression that things were happening immediately with no real passage of time, and there was no time given for reflection or thought. The movie only clocks in at 84 minutes. It gives the impression that there was more movie than was released. I’m just afraid that what it really means is that this was the best of what they shot. But hey, given the choice between viewing this or Dungeons & Dragons on a rainy afternoon, I can definitely vouch for Dragonball: Evolution.
Bechdel Rule: FAILURE
The females, Bulma and Chi-Chi, did a good job of not interacting with each other through the entirety of the film. However, their only interaction, which wasn’t actually an interaction between the two (a lot less complicated than it sounds), was the implication that one hooked up with a guy.