Until Death Do Us Part - Jonas

Isnin, Mac 30, 2009

#363. No bounce to Dragonball movie

[The general sentiment is that Dragonball: Evolution is poorly adapted and feels too Westernised. And Master Roshi (played by Chow Yun-Fat, seen here with Justin Chatwin as Goku) needs a turtle shell!]

Does Hollywood’s latest adaptation of a manga, Dragonball: Evolution, make the grade? Anime fans weigh in.

MAKING an adaptation is always tricky: stick too much to the source material, and the general audience will be alienated; change the original material too much, and the hardcore fans will be offended.Once in a while, a masterpiece rolls along which manages to strike a perfect balance between the two (The Lord of the Rings immediately comes to mind), leaving both fans and casual viewers satisfied.

On the other side of the spectrum, you sometimes get movies which manage to offend both sides of the fence and sadly, this is just what the recently released Dragonball: Evolution directed by James Wong manages to achieve.Ignoring the various changes made to the original storyline, Dragonball: Evolution’s plot is a huge mess. There is little explanation provided for the events unfolding (like how Piccolo, who was supposedly sealed up 2,000 years ago, manages to suddenly break free).

And the pacing ranges from incredibly slow and awkward (think all the lovey-dovey scenes between Goku and Chi Chi) to ridiculously rushed and anticlimactic (the highlight of the whole movie, the battle between Goku and Piccolo, is resolved in under five minutes).

Characters are introduced with seemingly no other purpose than to fill the set-roster and deliver cheesy, god-awful lines. Each appears to have been thrown into this mess rather than actually having a reason to embark on a journey to save the Earth. The villains appear to have no reason for wanting to destroy the Earth either (aside from being a plot device that is).

Special effects are unbelievably mediocre, especially for a million-dollar-budgeted movie. The Oozaru transformation-reversion scene isn’t even animated, and is instead covered by a series of cheap flashbacks (which are, by the way, recycled at least three times throughout the movie). They certainly show where the money didn’t go to.

Not only does it sever almost every connection it has with the original material, it has such a badly edited script that even casual moviegoers will be left scratching their heads. Dragonball: Evolution is the perfect candidate for a textbook case on how not to adapt anime or manga into movies.

(Score: 0.5/5)

What other fans of the manga say about the movie:

I’ve read Dragon Ball since I was a kid, and I think Dragonball: Evolution would have fared better if it was not named Dragonball. There is little resemblance to the original material and if you’re going to adapt a well-known manga, at least try to keep some of the basics intact for fans like us. On the whole, the movie is decent and funny at times, although some of the fight scenes are too brief. – Kalvin Ong, 19 (Score: 3/5)

I am totally disappointed with the movie. There is no connection with Dragon Ball whatsoever except the names of the main characters and the fact that they’re travelling in search of seven orange-coloured balls. I hope in future any directors hoping to adapt anime or manga would do some research on the original material so as not to insult us fans. – Ivan Chin, 21 (Score: 1/5)

I feel the movie is too fast and too short. It is only about an hour and 20 minutes, and the climax is depressingly bad. It also doesn’t feel like Dragon Ball to me. – Sandiraj Sandraseram, 20 (Score: 2/5)

Compared to the original manga, the storyline isn’t as compelling. The whole movie feels rushed, and there is little to no plot present. The climactic battle scene between Goku and Piccolo is short and lame. They should also have chosen Asian actors; the movie doesn’t feel like Dragon Ball otherwise. Bulma is a tad too aggressive though, and Master Roshi needs a turtle shell. – Lee Kar Seng, 20 (Score: 3/5)

The movie feels too Westernised. The whole setting is bizarre for a Dragon Ball adaptation, and the characterisation is way off. Goku seems mature at times and naive at others. The overall acting is mediocre, with the best actor being the unnamed character serving Piccolo. The special effects are horrible and appear low-budget. – Tan Yoke Huat, 19 (Score: 2/5)

Source : The Star

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