In my teenage years the show Dragonball Z became very popular throughout the United States. I’m not generally one to hop on the bandwagon but I found myself more than slightly engrossed with this anime series. After watching through it several times I more or less forgot about it. When I heard a movie was being made I was quite excited but never got around to watching it until just recently.
Goku (Justin Chatwin) is a teen that seems to be having all the same problems as any other teen plus a few. After being defeated during a sparring match with his grandfather Gohan (Randall Duk Kim), Goku receives dragonball four for his birthday. He heads for school and some mean classmates run over his moped. He manages to contain his anger with some effort and he doesn’t get into a fight. Later that day he helps a girl named Chi Chi (Jamie Chung) open her locker and she reveals that she too knows the power of Ki.
Goku is invited to Chi Chi’s party where he is confronted by some of the guys that picked on him earlier in the day. Goku keeps his promise to his grandfather by not fighting but dodges all their attacks and causes them to beat each other up. While Goku is away, Lord Piccolo (James Marsters) attacks his grandfather in an attempt to steal the dragonball. Goku senses that something is wrong and heads home to find his grandfather on the floor dying. With his dying breath, grandpa tells Goku that he should seek out someone called Master Roshi (Chow Yun-Fat) and have him help find the remaining six dragonballs in an attempt to stop the evil Namekian Piccolo.
I always try to say something positive about any film I review but this one makes that task rather challenging. The screenplay is absolutely horrible. It leads to a lot of stereotypical dialogue and a general cheesy quality that was very annoying. The casting was also somehow off, I can’t think of one good thing to say about any of them except Chow Yun-Fat. I was a little afraid that this film would be a gigantic CGI fest. However, most of the special effects done in the movie were either done by an amateur team or their budget was very low. Part of the Dragonball world is the overall fighting style. This film simply turned that aspect into another run of the mill martial arts flick. In conclusion, this film doesn’t fit into the Dragonball universe at all. If you are looking for a film that you and friends can spend several hours mocking this is a good one for you. However, if you are a fan of any of the Dragonball series then you should most definitely stay away from this film. The only thing you will get out of it is disappointment. I give this one a generous 3/10.