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Dragonball Evolution (2009)



Average Rating: 3.4/10
Reviews Counted: 56
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 48

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


Average Rating: 4.3/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 7

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



liked it
Average Rating: 2.4/5
User Ratings: 209,238

My Rating

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

Jul 28, 2009


20th Century Fox

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All Critics (58) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (48) | DVD (3)

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.

April 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Village Voice | Comments (32)
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop 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.

April 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop 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.

April 13, 2009 Full Review Source: AV Club | Comments (8)
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop 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.

April 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Comments (4)
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop 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.

April 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Comment (1)
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A hyperactively messy little adventure fantasy in which movement is everything and meaning means nothing.

April 10, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This film offers further proof, as if any were needed, that Western filmmakers cannot do justice to their Eastern counterparts when it comes to retooling anime and/or Fant-Asia for Occidental consumption.

September 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinefantastique | Comment (1)

More concerned with recruiting the testosterone troubled boys of today than it is rewarding fans of yesteryear.

August 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Moviedex

As far as 2009 flops will go, [this] could have been much worse to sit through...

April 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed | Comment (1)
Cinema Crazed

A contender for the worst movie of the year was released in April.

April 18, 2009 Full Review | Comments (16)
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

I am no expert in the field of Dragon Ball. However... the first live-action, English-language film in the franchise is absolutely insipid.

April 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy | Comment (1)
Antagony & Ecstasy

For anyone writing it off as a kiddie film, Dragonball: Evolution should be considered child abuse. Put everyone involved with this catastrophe on the receiving end of a Kamehameha wave.

April 18, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comments (4)

this first installment was actually entertaining enough that a sequel could work out the kinks to become a very solid franchise.

April 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Gazette (MD) | Comments (12)

The story seems to have been made up as the film went along, and not by anyone talented. The fight scenes and special effects are shamefully pathetic.

April 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

Faced with the choice of watching Dragonball: Evolution again and perishing in a fiery apocalypse, I'd take Judgment Day every time.

April 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

A rather tame live-action sci-fi flick.

April 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Independent

The producer, Stephen Chow, made the funny and original Kung Fu Hustle, but here he and director James Wong get into a terrible mess.

April 17, 2009 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Having been blandly adapted from a Chinese folklore-inspired Manga, that's about as much of the story that makes sense. Gibberish in the extreme, it has all the narrative cohesion of a trading card game.

April 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Scotsman | Comments (3)

[Chow's] hamminess doesn't make Dragonball Evolution make more sense, but it's a great way to cope with an otherwise inexplicable kitschfest.

April 15, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Press
New York Press

Dragonball's value -- such as it is -- is that it's too dumb to actively hate.

April 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) | Comments (3)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Poor Emmy Rossum went from "Phantom" to this. Now that's a career decline.

April 14, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

just another dull teen action film

April 13, 2009 Full Review Source:

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.
May 17, 2011
Drake Tsui

Super Reviewer

Oh gosh. The trailers were better.
February 4, 2011

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...
July 17, 2010
Sanjaya 丘耀文

Super Reviewer

June 30, 2010

Super Reviewer

    1. Goku: [Goku trashes Fuller and his gang] Oh, about your car... [Smashes the car]
    – Submitted by Lorenzo V (2 years ago)
    1. Goku: Teach me how to be normal.
    2. Grandpa Gohan: Normal is also overrated.
    – Submitted by Lee V (2 years ago)
    1. Bulma: You have no right to give away a third of the royalties to my invention. One day Dragonballs could power the world.
    2. Master Roshi: Don't worry. A third of zero is still zero.
    – Submitted by Geraldo G (2 years ago)
    1. Grandpa Gohan: Always have faith in who you are.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Master Roshi: In an ancient time, Earth was nearly destroyed. Not by man, but by Gods from the sky.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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