James Wong, the director of The One and Final Destination, is giving us his take on Akira Toriyama’s manga which was first published in 1985 and spawned numerous anime episodes and films. I haven’t read a lot of the original manga, but when I was in my teen years I was a huge fan of the anime, Dragonball Z, mainly for the action. However, due to how ridiculously long the anime was by the time it got around to the ending of the story I had matured and realized how bad the show really was. With that said I did think that the original Dragonball series that was about the beginning of the character Goku and his first adventure for the dragonballs with Bulma and Roshi.
First off I have to let everyone understand that this movie is not a direct adaptation of the anime or the manga. So for all those people out there who were complaining bitterly, when the trailers were released on the internet, about how Piccolo [James Marsters] and Goku [Justin Chatwin] looked you have to look at it separate from the source material. The characters I think throughout the film are a good representation of the source material, especially with Master Roshi [Chow Yun-Fat], Bulma [Emmy Rossum] and Yamcha [Joon Park]. Yamcha is a slick thief inspired only by the dollar sign, Bulma is the tough and smart inventor and Roshi is still the badass master of the ways of the martial arts and a bit of a dirty old man.
I went to this movie knowing it was going to be bad. I wasn’t a huge fan of the series for the main fact that the show just seemed to drag out every fight into a 10 episode arc and I found that way too ridiculous. I agree with many anime fans that it was pretty influential in the style of action that is used today in a ton of animes and at the time was a great piece of art, but it was just too much for me. So when they said they were adapting the material into a film I was a little more than just skeptical.
This movie has some of the most laughable fight scenes, and not for the right reasons. Nothing beats when Goku ‘fights’ some of the ‘tough’ guys from school and he decides to slide on his hair. I couldn’t help but burst out into laughter and remember that this is a children’s movie. Diehard fans of the show will only be disappointed since it changes a lot of the main plot elements from the original series and the manga. I think however that the movie is really not meant for those diehard fans, who’re now the 18 – 35 year olds. This movie is really meant for the 10 – 14 year olds I think and they do enjoy the movie. The theatre I was in was completely erupting with cheers for every fight scene and especially at the end when we got the ‘kamehameha’ attack from Goku, ohh c’mon you knew that was coming.
Not much else I can really add to this. It isn’t worth the ticket unless of course you’re going to be taking a few 12 year olds, and if you’re taking anyone any younger you can go to a much more awesome movie that’s out now, Monsters vs. Aliens.
IMDB says 3.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes says 18%
I say 2.0/10