Awfully Good Movies: Dragonball Evolution

Summon your rage upon the worst anime adaptation ever made: DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION, on Awfully Good Movies! KAME-HAME…huh?

In this very special “Viewer Request” episode of Awfully Good Movies, we’re finally tackling what could well be the worst live-action anime adaptation that Hollywood’s ever made, with 2009’s Dragonball Evolution!

When 20th Century Fox bought up the rights to Akira Toriyama’s beloved manga that became an even more beloved anime TV series, with Stephen Chow of Kung Fu Hustle set to produce, DBZ fans were simultaneously skeptical and hopeful of what the Americanized results would be. But when the movie was rushed into production on the cusp of a writer’s strike, with a writer and director who didn’t know anime from Animorphs, and the reported $100 million budget reduced to $30 million, the final product made dragonball fans and casual viewers both explode in rage much like Son Goku himself.

From the whitewashed casting of Justin Chatwin as a decidedly geeky version of Goku, to the legendary Chow-Yun Fat embarrassing his good name as the slovenly Master Roshi, to James Marsters wearing cheap looking makeup as Piccolo that looks stupider than his spiked hair on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the multi-racial casting is the least baffling aspect of a film that is nothing but baffling. With seasons worth of exposition from the show shoved down into an 85-minute movie, and special effects that make Quantumania look like Endgame by comparison, Evolution is truly a de-evolution in the art of cinema that would put even Martin Scorsese into an existential crisis, as well as a spit in the face to the anime’s fanbase. Kame-Hame-Ha? More like Kame-Hame-Nuh-Uh.

Previously on Awfully Good Movies…