Dragonball Evolution

The camera takes a long languorous close-up of Goku (Justin Chatwin, “The Invisible”) as sweat drips slowly down his face. A bead clings to his eyelashes and falls almost like a teardrop. Then the camera cuts to another close-up of moisture dripping slowly from the tip of his nose.
With an introduction like that, audiences should be forewarned that this film is going to be ripe pickings for Mystery Science Theater 3000. And they would not be wrong.
Not only is the plot packed with tired tropes-a special boy hero with amazing fighting skills who must save the world-but it’s also chock-full of slow motion special effects and cheesy lines that do nothing to enhance its value. Especially since the film actually strives to take itself seriously, which is the truly sad part.
Unlike “Speed Racer” which had a script that managed to twist a decent plot out of an anime-based story, “Dragonball Evolution” just sinks deeper into clichés and poorly developed characters. If a hero is on a quest, then surely he needs a master to train him, as well as sidekicks. And if those sidekicks are opposite sexes, then obviously a romance must ensue, even if they have no chemistry, nothing in common and no time to develop a relationship.
Although “Speed Racer” wasn’t a great film either, at least it was memorable for creative special effects thanks to the direction of the Wachowski brothers. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said here. While director James Wong may be known for his penchant for original fantasy films like “Final Destination,” this film only disappoints. His work here shows nothing of his unique perspective and sadly isn’t innovative so much as imitative.
Unless audiences are looking for a movie they can joyfully heckle, they are well advised to stay away from this one.