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Dragonball: Evolution (2009)
"Dragonball Evolution" (original title)

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Ratings: 2.9/10 from 44,503 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 498 user | 124 critic | 10 from

The young warrior Son Goku sets out on a quest, racing against time and the vengeful King Piccolo, to collect a set of seven magical orbs that will grant their wielder unlimited power.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joon Park ...
Mai (as Eriko)
Megumi Seki ...
Rafael Valdez ...


The story begins with Goku, who seeks out upon his adoptive grandfather Grandpa Gohan's dying request to find the great Master Roshi and gather all seven Dragon Balls. Of which he has one, in order to prevent the evil Lord Piccolo from succeeding in his desire to use the Dragon Balls to take over the world. And Goku's quest is to obtain the mystical Dragonballs before Piccolo does. Written by Anthony Pereyra {}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Master your destiny. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for intense sequences of action/violence and brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


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Release Date:

10 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

D.B.E.  »

Box Office


$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£436,224 (UK) (10 April 2009)


$9,353,573 (USA) (29 May 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (uncut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Appropriately, Justin Chatwin previously appeared in War of the Worlds (2005), as a character who had Dragonball toys on his bedroom shelf. See more »


When Goku is in the Ozaru form, the robe is loose (not tucked in the belt). After Turning into Goku again the robe is tucked in the belt, with no time to see Goku tuck it in himself. See more »


[first lines]
Grandpa Gohan: In a time before many can remember, our planet faced its greatest challenge. A warlord named Piccolo camed from beyond the stars, bringing darkness and chaos to our once peaceful world. Aided by his disciple Oozaru, the evil pair brought the human race to the brink of annihilation. Cities and countries crumbled beneath them. Countless lives were lost. But... finally, a group of brave warriors created the Mu Fu Ba, a powerful enchantment that imprisoned Piccolo deep within the Earth...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Part of the closing credits are seen in waves of chi energy. See more »


Version of Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins (1991) See more »


Worked UP!
Written and Performed by Brian Anthony
Courtesy of Sogni Records - 7 Entertainment, LLC
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Student Film
13 March 2009 | by (Hong Kong) – See all my reviews

The entire assembly of the film crew and casting is WRONG (excluding the catering and the grip and electric guys). Asia has the first priority to watch such a bad film done by JAMES WONG. Why is he still getting work from Hollywood anyway? "The One" was badly done and James is just the worse director ever, I tell ya, he is walking on thin ice in the film industry. He has absolutely no vision of this film. Who hired him anyway? This film is so amateur done that it looks like student film. I can't believe 20th Century Fox distribute a student film worldwide. Btw, did they just put Stehpen Chow's name as the producer as a marketing strategy for Asia? The film ended with a hint of a sequel, and if it does, it will most likely end up re-shooting the entire film (remember of The Hulk). King Piccolo lacks of drive for him to destroy the world. Plot is flat, character drives are lame. Dialogs are stereotype. Ben Ramsey did a poor job as a screenwriter, he is lack of experience to write such an epic movie.

Casting: God damn it, wrong cast dude! Carla Hool, please go back home and do some home work first! Who hired the casting department? I recall the same casting director did the Forbidden Kingdom also cast this movie -- Popping AuYeung. She sucks! Did such a bad job casting in Forbbiden Kingdom and in Dragon Ball. I wonder why is she still surviving in the industry at all. Jamie Chung tries too hard to be cute, and she is ugly. Master Mutaito is a black guy? Emmy Rossum was great in The Day After Tomorrow but not in this movie. I can assure you that it's not really her fault, James just doesn't know what he was doing. Eriko Tamura as Mai is just a redundant character, the wardrobe department tries very hard to dress her up sexy while she is not. By the way, her boobs didn't override her bad acting and ugliness. She must have missed Acting 101 class.

Visual Effect: At some point of the movie, when Guko turns into a gorilla the visual effect was so poorly done that it looks some what like "Rubber Chicken". Did they slip in few shots done by stop motion? The face of Gozoru looks like it was done in After Effects, it doesn't look like 3D at all!! First scene of the film, Goku was training with Gohan, the matte painting of the house was so badly done that it looks 2D (cardboard stand) in the background. Blue / Green screen spill was all over, color correction sucks. Visual effect was done much like fresh grad student level. Hollywood have done so much super hero movies in the recent years, and I think the producers just hire the wrong bunch to do such a visual effects intensive film. I believe that Fox knew this film wouldn't go anywhere so they cut budget from hiring the good guys to work on this film!!!

Art Design / Production Design My recommendation is to get Stephen Scott, Simon Lamont and the bunch who did Hellboy to work on DragonBall. The original DragonBall story heavily involves with aliens and action, and I believe that they are the right group of guys to do this film. Their creature designs and makeup fits in this category. Piccolo looks like alien from Mars, one of those "Mars Attack" films from the 60s. Costumn in the entire film doesn't match the theme at all, looks like they shop wardrobe from Wal-Mart. The story will be more interesting if it were to take place more into the future (like in the movie Minority Report). The location of Master Roshi's house is totally mismatch to the surrounding backdrop. The matte painting of the city lights and buildings doesn't fit into the picture at all. It is like cut and paste without considering the style, time and place between Roshi's house and the city backdrop.

Stunts / Action Choreography: Poorly done dude! One of the marketing factor of Dragonball is the fighting style and its creative art of fighting sequence. Whatever James did, it looks worse than Street Fighter done by Steven De Souza back in 1994. Yeah, Van Damme could've star in this Dragonball movie. The "ki" effect is all over the place,the establish shots of the fight covered up by "ki" effect and I couldn't even locate the characters on the screen. They add to much vapor on the "ki" effect.

Conclusion: If you want to have endless conversation with your friends about how bad this film is, then go watch it. I believe that Hollywood is running out of idea and beginning to tackle Asia stories. But studio got to have more faith in selling these stories with huge fans around the world: Dragonball, Akira and whatnot. If you cut back the budget, it will end up with a disaster like what James Wong did with this movie! Consider Matrix, Wachowski Bros did a total ripe off from a Japanese Animation "Ghost in the Shell". Look what they can achieve with the budget they've got. Of course, skills is also a factor and they have better vision than James as well.

Please re-shoot this FILM!!! I can assure you that all the fans worldwide is looking forward to a re-shoot with different Above the Line and casts

309 of 447 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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