Toon’d out Month 2: Dragonball Evolution (2023)

Insert overused “Over 9000” joke here

Hello, Spongey here. Welcome back to Toon’d out month 2!

Well, This is one of the big ones. One of the mast hated live action adaptations ever. Well, until you know what in 2010-, but whatever.

While the hate has died down, for awhile, you couldn’t talk about movies without people bashing this. Fans hated it. Non fans hated it.

Now…I’ll be looking at it. It’s based on the ever popular anime series Dragonball. It all started with the 1984 Manga created by Akira Toriyama, which became an Anime in 1986. WIKIPEDIA INFO DUMP TIME:

The series follows the adventures of the protagonist, Son Goku, from his childhood through adulthood as he trains in martial arts and explores the world in search of the seven mystical orbs known as the Dragon Balls, which can summon a wish-granting dragon when gathered. Along his journey, Goku makes several friends and battles a wide variety of villains, many of whom also seek the Dragon Balls for their own desires.

You may more familiar with the 2ndseries, DragonBallZ. However, this live action movie seems to borrow more from the original. While I have seen some of dragonball, i’m not familiar enough to judge the film as an adaptation, so I will review it as a film..

It got bad reviews and it bombed, so I bet this is gonna be awesome!

This, is Dragonball Evolution

The movie opens with Narration. Some dude named Piccolo came to earth to do evil stuff. No idea where he came from, but he did almost destroy humanity. . Seven mystics created the Mafuba and thought they sealed him away for eternity.

Okay, so far this seems pretty generic,. Bad guy did bad stuff, got sealed up by magic, yadayada. But hey, maybe they’ll explain more later.

For now we cut to our hero, Goku, played by Justin Chatwin.

…Don’t see it.

He is with his Grandpa, Gohan. They are practicing their kung fu or whatever, while the camera has multiple seizures.

Gokuis able to fight himwiththe power of WIRE FU! And…he promptly kicks his ass. It was all just a playful training session, and Gohan talks about his failure to see without his senses.

True power comes from inside”

I’m getting deja vu here..

Anyway, Goku tries to focus but fails.

I can’t see anything”

Stop working on your fighting skills, and start working on your acting. Seriously, even from his few lines, he’s so stilted.

“Everbodyat school treats me like i’m nothing”

…School? …I may not know Dragonball that much but I know it takes place a fantasy world, not in a normal place high school bullshit. Okay, we’ve hit a huge problem already.

If this takes place in the normal world with high school and stuff…then to an outsider, this makes no damn sense. I already know that this movie will involve magic and shit so where does all THAT come from?

This makes even less sense to a fan, who knew about the world. They will wonder why suddenly it’s in the normal world and all the creative aspects of the manga and show are just gone.

So far this is looking to be a very generic film that doesn’t make sense…but hey, maybe they will explain later. Goku wants to learn “real” fighting and all that cliché crap.

Oh, and guess what? Goku has a crush and wants advice. My god, really?!

Teach me how to be normal”

Normal is also overrated”

Preach it sister!

It’s Goku’sbirthday, so Gohangives him a four star dragonball. What’s a Dragonball? No clue,. Gohan just says there are 7 and together they grant the holder one wish. The movie moves on before it can explain anything!

Whatever, Gokudoesn’t’ seem to care. It’s time for HIGH SCHOOL BULLSHIT,….in DRAGONBALL. Even saying that makes me feel dirty.

Goku goes to school where he has real problem, like bullies who don’t really do anything, and all that crap. Thankfully, we cut to some village as a bunch of people are screaming. Turns out they are running from this chick,

I don’t think I need to say it. Some other chick shows up, who was trying to hide her daughter. She gives the hot chick a dragonball, and the green dude from the opening pops up and…it cuts away before I can get what is going on.

Goku is in class, and we see her crush.

Oh hey it’s the 2nddaughter from grown ups. Great. We peek into his mind as she appear behind a green screen meadow…and um okay. What does this have to do with Dragonball, again?

She’s also eating a strawberry seductively cuz Goku’sfetish is girls eating. I don’t know, TGWTG did the better joke for me.

Anyway, the class is learning about an upcoming Eclipse and Gokublabsabout how Gohantold him about the evil guys from earlier. Guess Goku believes it enough to tell his class about it and makes himself look like an idiot, which he has.

Later, Ch Chi, the crush is having trouble with her locker…So goku uses magic to open it. Okay, so there is magic with him and he knows that was true. So uh…where does the magic come from? Why is Goku magic? This takes place in our world now so you have to EXPLAIN!

After that, they awkwardly talk and she invites Gokuto a party that night. Parties, bullies, crushes! Everything you loved about Dragonball!

Oh, and he has to sneak out so Gohandoesn’t find out. Way to respect your elders, kid. I don’t think Gokuwas a typical rebel but apparently he is cuz it’s the cliché thing,. WHY IS THIS IN A DRAGONBALL MOVIE!?

When someone who knows nothing about Dragonballrages like a fanboy, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

At the party, he bumps into the bullies. Instead of fighting him,. He uses his dodging skills to prevent the bully’s attack. He kicks their asses, and the main bully attacks.

Yeah, attack the guy who clearly can kick ass. Smart. And of course, Goku stops him. And…the party moves on. Yeah, a dude just used superb skills to fight a bully and trash his car. No biggie, happens all the time!

Chi-Chi is impressed (man I wish the cry baby lane kids would pop out) and they share bad romantic dialogue. Goku says he doesn’t know what happened to his parents, but grandpa says he will explain when he turns 18.

Oh hey, he’s 18 now. So if Goku stayed, they would have explained everything. Damn you!
Back at home. Gohan is attacked by the hot chick.

Then comes Piccolo

He looks silly AND generic. That’s quite a feat.

He wants the old man’s dragonball…not even gonna touch that one, but it turns out to be not there. So they just kill Gohanand leave. And of course, it cuts before THAT can sink in. Nope, let’s focus on Goku’sbullshit! Gokutook the dragonball for luck, and it glows, which Gokuthinks means that Gohan is in danger. He gets home to find his dying Grandpa.

Before he dies he tells Gokuto seek out Master Rohan, who has one of the dragonballs. They must get all the Dragtonballs before the eclipse.

Let’s recap: a bad guy who was sealed years ago wants the good MacGuffins so he can use them for evil, and he kills an old dude who, on his deathbed, tells his grandson to seek out a master who can help him.

That…is the most generic thing I’ve ever heard. I mean, wow, you took DragonBall and made it the most cliché thing ever. From what little I know of the series, it didn’t seem this generic! It’s even more cliché for someone who has never seen the show!

So Gohandies, and Gokuis sad. This would be tragic if we knew anything about these guys. At all. In his room he finds a suitcase containing-

Hey, now we’re getting somewhere! And…he puts it away and never takes it on ….fucking cocktease!

Then he bumps into a chick named Bulma./

She looks nothing like her cartoon version but at this point I don’t care. They do the “you with the bad guy?” shit we’ve seen before. Knowing he has a dragonball, they have a fight while Bulmaexplains that her grandpa was studying a “promethuen” orb which is really just a 5 star dragonball. Since Goku only has the 4 star one, she’s shit out of luck.

She feels bad for having almost killed Gokuand says a thief took her 5 star dragonball and she swore to her father she’d get it back. This getting so generic it’s almost just basic.

After exchanging more bad dialogue, and talking a lot about balls they reluctantly team up to find Roshiand the other dragonballs. Oh, and yes, the dialogue is as bad as I’m making it sound. It’s the actors flatly tying to inject “humor” into normal sentences and failing. Hard.

Long story short, they find Roshi, played by Chow Yung Fat. Weird choice, but ehhe looks a little like roshiso there’s that. After being mistaken for intruders, and having another really lame fight, Bulma explains what is going on.

I am woo tan roshi! The invincible!”

His acting just got a lot more forced. Yippie!( I could barely make out the first thing btw)

My great grandfather is dead”

‘Then he stops laughing. Heh, that was funny, if a bit disrespectful.

He was murdered. I WILL avenge him”

That’s the kind of acting and dialogue I have to put up with, guys. It’s actually getting hard to review this, cuz every scene has the same issue and there are pointless bits with no reason to be there.

They tell Roshithat they must find all of the Dragonballlsbefore the Eclipse, when the green guy’s buddy will return. He rummagesfor his Dragtonballand-

…really? REALLY?! Well okay, Roshiwas a perv in the original series so…they did get that right..

So uh…anyway, he takes out his dragonball, and now they are all off on an adventure to get the rest to save the world.

I’ll take you to a secret place where the chosen few mastered the energy of the 3 elements. Air, Fire, and water”

don’t forget Ear-

This is the most basic of all airbending techniques”

Please, one more bad adaptation at a time.

I am begging to appreciate the entertainment value”



He feels her up? Really​? It keeps in with the character, yes, but it clashes with the serious tone this movie foolishly has!

So they head to said place, which is a temple. Here they bump into…Chi-Chi? Yeah Goku is as confused as you are.

She explains that she trains her for some big tournament coming up. She wanted to tell Gokuearlier but the bullies got in the way of that. Of course goku doesn’t think about how this isn’t explained very well, but then again, he’s an idiot.

And…then they leave. Pointless? Well anyway, they then travel across the green screen-i mean land, as Gokutrains a bit. Bulmauses some gadget to locate a nearby Dragonball. But then they fall in a hole in the middle of the desert.

A dude shows up and they want to trust a strange man in a desert. But the dude does help them out cuz Bulmais pretty dur. His name is Yamcha, and asks for payment.

Who do you think made this trap?”

wah wah.

They refuse to pay him with anything, so they are left to rot. So they stay for the night and start a fire. Guess they gave up in those few hours.

Roshi tells us a campfire story, which is literally just the opening narration again but dumber. If you forgot in the last 37 minutes, here it is again: Two thousand years ago, the demon Piccolo came to Earth, wreaking havoc with his minion Ōzaru. Seven mystics created the Mafuba and thought they sealed him away for eternity.

At least he EXPLAINS a bit more this time..but I still have no idea where the demon came from. Green guy is already free, but the upcoming eclipse will bring forth his minion, who I hope is a mutant popcorn kernel.

Yamchadoesn’t buy he story, cuz he is just some random bandit and not a mystic guy. Then Roshi uses his powers to float out..WHY DIDN’T HE DO THAT BEFORE?!

This scares Yamchainto letting them out. He convinces the bandit to join the group to help them get the next dragonball.

Everything happens for a reason bro. Got that one from Daytime TV”

Is that where you got your acting skills too?

They dig a tunnel to get to the DragonBall. They end up on Mt. Doom-I mean a random mountain with fire and lava. After a hit to HIS dragonballs, he…sees the dragonball. On the other side of a lava pit. Lovely.

After being attacked by the Sploogeof venom, they get the ball. But then Mai, the hot Henchwomanchick from earlier, shows up to take it. After that, Gokuhas a vision that says nothing, but from it, he figures he needs to defeat Ozaru.

However, there isn’t enough time to get the other DragonBalls. But Roshi has a plan: get his old master to help! They go a temple where they bump into…-

…Ernie hudson?! What the hell, man?! I know the TGWTG’ review did the whole “shocked’” thing fuck it, i’m shocked too! How did Ernie end up in …this?!

But…um anyway, This is ShifuNorris, Roshi’sold teacher. Roshiwants to get the Mafubaspell so they can reseal gay green goblin. Winston agrees to get the spell ready.

We cut to Chi chi’s Tourment where she is fighting..

Mai the hot chick.

oh my, a catfight…

Er, I mean, why is she suddenly here? How did she get in? And why is she cutting Chi Chi and taking a bit of her blood? …Wait, what?

She does that, and leaves the fight after. Gokushows up cuz DERPYDOO, and before he can do anything, we cut Bulmaand Yamcha having a forced romance. This might as well be “Forced: The movie”.

We still have our Dragonballs”

Sex Jokes I could have made: 1

They mean that Green goblin needs them all, and he can’t do evil without the ones they have. Anyway, Gokulearns some moves from Roshi while this all going on.

The final level of the air bending..”


Ch-Chi shows up (I don’t care at this point) and-

Were you watching me?”

Sex jokes I could have made: 2

It’s dirtier if you see that Gokuwas doing …some stuff chick’s may miss-see. Er, anyway, Goku talks about bullshit Philosophy regarding his ability to do some special move. So she suggests some test regarding torches which also serves as more forced Romance.

You know, She knows a bit…too much about fighting and shit right now. As if she’s….nah. It’s just bad writing.

That night, Bulma finds Ch-Chi up…this late. I think…nah nah, that’s too cliché.

she’s got the dragonballs”

…Yeah, it’s Mai in disguise, isn’t it? Figures they would get that cliché. Thankfully, the real Chi-Chi shows up and…oh my, catfight again. uh…, so anyway, Mai kicks her ass, and takes the Dragonballs.

I’d ask how Mai could be transforming into Chi-Chi but….it’s magic, I don’t have to explain it. Gokugets knocked out, and Gohan visits him Obi-Wan style to tell him..

Always have faith in who you are”

Cool, but can you tell him how to stop the bad guy? Maybe a fighting move, or tell him where to find a weapon? No? You’re just gonna tell us something we already knew and make this bit pointless?


So thanks to that, The bad guys have all 7 Dragonballs. And with that containment spell …vase…thingy, given to them by Agent Fowler, they head off off to stop the bad guys from using the balls..

Well that was a waste of erniehudson. SHAME.

They make it to Piccolo right as he sets down his dragonballs. After some really bad green screen and CGI, Piccolo decides to not make his wish right away, and just jump down to Roshi, leaving the balls open for taking. LOGIC.

Oh, and Goku-

FINALLY, HE LOOKS LIKE GOKU….but he still doesn’t act like him. Gay Green Goblin talks to Goku…oh, and by the way, he sounds less like Piccolo, and more like Darth Vader if he was lazy. Oh, and speaking of Darth Vader..

Defeat Ozaru…when the blood moon eclipses the sun…you will BECOME Ozaru!”


There is no denial!”

You might as well have Yoda pop out, this is such an obvious rip off! Well…he does look like yoda…from the Asylum version of Star wars.

‘Goku is a shell. You traveled by meteor to hide among the vermin until your 18th birthday. You serve me!”

Gonna explain more? ….nope? Well okay then. WAIT, THAT’S NOT OKAY! THAT MAKES NO SENSE! Where did Goku come from? Why did does he turn into this other guy? How did he…why…who…I QWFCWEWGG.

This makes no fucking sense, and they explain it so badly, that I think they made it up on the spot! I know the writing was lazy but not THIS lazy!

I watched many reviews of this movie to see if anyone else made sense of it. Spoilers, it didn’t help.

So…as it turns out, Ozaruis a CG effect so bad I won’t even show it. Think of it as the wolfman’sreally stupid cousin. Roshitries to contain Piccolo but….well earlier they say that using the spell would suck out his life force, and roshi said he’d be willing to die.

He hoped to contain Piccolo without dying for good…but that didn’t work out. He dies before he can seal him.

Protect the Dragonballs”

Way to use your last words. As another character I didn’t care about dies, Roshi goes back and tries out some NEW last words.

Ozarucan be defeated…only with faith….can you win…don’t let Ozaru destroy the Goku in you.”

…Yeah, stick with your first choice in last words, buddy.

In true Clichefashion, this works and gokuturns back to normal. Gokuthen starts beating up the gay green goblin, while Bulma and Mai have a catfight. Oh my..

After kicking her ass for the last time,…

‘/I am Goku. I am Ozaru”


Goku uses the power of yelling a silly word, and that move he was trying to learn earlier, to stop him once and for all. Eh, it was big, and sort of long battle’s not that anti-climatic.

But, Roshiis still dead. Sucks for them I guess. So anyway, Piccolo was trying to summon some dude named shen Long, to grant the wish. I’d question why you can’t wish without summoning him…but you have the genie OUT of the lamp…

so what does he wish for?

Give life Muten Roshi”



YOU’VE GOT TO FUCKING KIDDING ME! That big moment ,…and you just wish him back to life?! I mean, you didn’t give much weight to it, but come on! I know, it’s for kids, but it was taking itself so seriously, and it even had a couple epic moments for the “adults”…and you pull this care bears crap?!

Ugh, fuck this.

So Roshi comes back to life and talks about how death was.

I was happy…then your grandfather came up to me and kicked me out”

Not only do you bring him back to life, but you say he was happy in death, and didn’t want to come back to life. It was meant to be a joke…but it’s not funny. It’s awful.

But he perks up so it’s all okay.

The dragonballs are gone. We have to find them again”

…Why? You got your wish. The bad guys are defeated. IT’S OVER. You don’t need them again!

But before they do, Goku kisses Chi-Chi finishing that EPIC ROMANTIC STORYLINE. They also exchange bad banter that kills the mood. So they decide to have a fun fight…cuz this is now Return of the king.

…But thankfully, it does end at that. ACTUALLY NO, THERE’S A STINGER. We see an old woman caring for a body she found. And her herbs wake him up and..yeah, it’s piccolo.

I’d rant about how this makes no sense…but i’d to point out that your villain can’t be scary if he is revived by an old lady.

But whatever, IT’S OVER.

Final Thoughts:

Yeah, this sucked.

First off, both camps are screwed. If you are a fan of Dragonball, you will hate it as it has nothing to do with it outside of little things. If you are not familiar, you will be confused as nothing is ever explained.

I am in both, as I know enough about it and I also am not 100 percent familiar…so I got double screwed. And it didn’t even take me out to dinner first!

And guess what the creator of the manga said-

I thought the content was bland and not so interesting, the result was a movie I cannot call Dragon Ball.”

What a shock. Anyway, The story is a mess with clichesaplenty, stuff that’s never explained, and one dimensionalcharacters that aew both dull and annoying.

On top of that, the fights rely too heavily on wires, slow motion, and quick cuts. Well okay, the final battle was okay but in a movie based on a fighting series, you need more than one good fight.

The acting is also terrible, from, the robotic goku, to the overacting styles of Roshi. I rarely bitch about acting, but this had some bad acting. The poorly written dialogue doesn’t help, nor does the mess of a script this film has.

It amazes how little it has to do with Dragonball. It has no creativy, no sense of fun, and it puts in teen bullshit like the high school crap. Even a dummy like me knows how little they got right in this,.

But, for most of it, I was just kind of bored. It wasn’t really all THAT torturous…until the 2nd half where everything goes to shit, and I got angry. It shifts on my “sliding scale of suck”. It goes from “bad but very forgettable” to “anger inducing bad”. It’s both,…and I don’t like that.

While it might be among the worst live action adaptations, it’s not one of the worst movies ever. When you get down to it, it’s just typical. I don’t hate it as much as i’m letting on…but it’s still bad.

Grade: D

Well, i’ma time crunch, so next, is the finale of Toon’d out month 2. What could the world throw at me next, after this? I’ll take anything!

…Anything. Something bad. Something awful./ The worst butchering of a good cartoon Hollywood has to offer! I don’t care. It can be something everyone has done! Hell, it can be something I did a general review of! COME AT ME BRO!


See ya?

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