Dragonball Evolution (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dragonball Evolution (2009)



Critic Consensus: Executed with little panache or invention, Dragonball Evolution lacks the magic that made the books upon which it was based a cult sensation.

Movie Info

James Wong adapts the rich mythos of the Dragonball series that grew from a manga into various popular animated series with this 20th Century Fox production starring Justin Chatwin. The plot revolves around Goku (Chatwin), Earth's greatest champion, who must defend the planet against an invading race of alien warriors hell-bent on dominating the universe. Wong directs from his own script, with Kung Fu Hustle's Stephen Chow producing. Buffy the Vampire Slayer's James Marsters co-stars as the film's villain, Piccolo, with Jamie Chung playing Chi Chi and Emmy Rossum portraying Bulma. Hong Kong legend Chow Yun-Fat rounds out the cast as Master Roshi, Goku's mentor in the film. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovimore
Rating: PG (for intense sequences of action/violence and brief mild language)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Ben Ramsey, Akira Toriyama
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 28, 2009
Box Office: $9.4M
20th Century Fox - Official Site


James Marsters
as Lord Piccolo
Jamie Chung
as Chi Chi
as Mai
Joon Park
as Yamcha
Yun-Fat Chow
as Master Roshi
Randall Duk Kim
as Grandpa Gohan
Ernie Hudson
as Sifu Norris
Texas Battle
as Carey Fuller
Ian Whyte
as Oozaru
Jon Valera
as Moreno
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Dragonball Evolution

Critic Reviews for Dragonball Evolution

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (10)

Evolution is far more entertaining than it deserves to be, unless you're a 10-year-old boy, in which case it's only the greatest movie ever made.

Full Review… | April 13, 2009
Village Voice
Top Critic

There are a few entertaining fight scenes. But there is also uneven CGI, bad dialogue and a host of clichéd moments that make Dragonball Evolution just another disappointing matinee movie.

Full Review… | April 13, 2009
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The film is crammed with treats for old-school Dragonball fans. For everyone else, this amounts to another seen-it-before, probably-willing-to-see-it-again distraction, a passable collection of 'splosions and special effects for a slow film weekend.

Full Review… | April 13, 2009
AV Club
Top Critic

Fans of the best-selling Dragonball comics (and cartoons, and videogames...) might have a shot at untangling the knotty dream-logic that strangles Dragonball: Evolution's live-action adaptation.

Full Review… | April 13, 2009
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

The giddy, anything-goes spirit of Japanese manga comics and Hong Kong martial arts flicks animates Dragonball Evolution. Not enough to make it a good movie, mind you, but enough so you won't hate yourself if you sit through it with the kids.

Full Review… | April 13, 2009
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Dragonball: Evolution is my least-favorite film of all time. I hate it with every fiber of my being. If you were ever curious about the show Dragon Ball or the manga... please, avoid this cinematic disaster at all costs.

Full Review… | February 3, 2016

Audience Reviews for Dragonball Evolution

Turned a classic tale of innocence, the struggle between good and evil, into a hollywood CGI fuck fest of stupidity. There are so many things wrong with this film even outside of the fact that it bastardized the source material.

Easily worse movie I have ever seen.

Drake Tsui
Drake Tsui

Super Reviewer

Oh gosh. The trailers were better.

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer


I must say that this one is a really terrible adaptation, maybe basically it wasn't an adaptation movie, but it was a movie inspired from the manga because the only same thing about this movie was the name of the characters and the Dragon Ball itself... If I see this movie as not an adaptation movie, I may gave it 2 or 2 1/2 stars because it was pretty entertaining... But because this one is an adaptation movie, I couldn't gave more than 1 1/2 stars... James Wong really changed a lot from the manga, and it was terrible because I'm a big fan of the manga... Yet, he made a lot of bloopers because of the weak script they have here, that one makes the audience become more confused with the story here... Very disappointing...

Sanjaya 丘耀文

Super Reviewer

Dragonball Evolution Quotes

Chi Chi: You must make every move your own.
– Submitted by Mae M (8 months ago)
Goku: [Goku trashes Fuller and his gang] Oh, about your car... [Smashes the car]
– Submitted by Lorenzo V (3 years ago)
Goku: Teach me how to be normal.
Grandpa Gohan: Normal is also overrated.
– Submitted by Lee V (4 years ago)
Bulma: You have no right to give away a third of the royalties to my invention. One day Dragonballs could power the world.
Master Roshi: Don't worry. A third of zero is still zero.
– Submitted by Geraldo G (4 years ago)

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