Dragonball Evolution

Ok, it wasn't as terrible as I thought it was going to be. But it still wasn't good. Eye-catching action and a fair backstory kept me going to the end, but character introductions were random and motivations were questionable, making the character connections unbelievable. Granted, this may be a result of the film makers assuming everyone knows who these characters are because of the cartoon... but they're not supposed to make that assumption. I had no idea who they were. I had no idea what the background was or who came from where or why they wanted the Dragonballs. Thus, for me, the story was half-baked. I didn't believe the characters actually wanted to be there. I accepted their on-the-nose exposition of their motive, but it just didn't seem real - it didn't seem worth it.

Goku's story was alright on its own. If they took out all the secondary characters it would have been better (although fans would riot, I'm sure). The "search for these things to save the world" concept has been done to death, but you can't get away from the core of the source material. Given that, that story of the main character is enough to form a well-done concept out of a well-worn core. But tacking the other characters onto the story as they did with the movie was unnecessary were it not for the fact that they just simply existed in the original manga and cartoon. I wanted to believe that it was THEIR choice to be there, not the writer's.

After watching the movie I consulted with the resident anime expert at the theater who said the movie was pretty accurate to the original except for a few minor things like hair color and slight name variances. As a fan of the cartoon, he enjoyed the movie over all. So maybe the movie was just for fans and, not being a fan, I should have left well enough alone? That's not the best way to appeal to a larger market, but... c'est la vie.