Welcome to the movies at PS News.
Each week, PS News’s film critic Victor Rebikoff will highlight the latest offerings from the silver screen and share his expert commentary for our information and guidance.
Director: James Wong, 20th Century Fox, Rated PG, 84 Minutes
Popular Japanese anime Dragonball Z was created by legendary writer Akira Toriyama, whose work has spawned best-selling graphic novels, a craze in the sale of merchandise products and a highly successful television series.
In his rendition, director James Wong (Final Destination) has transformed the comic book story into a live-action movie, designed to appeal to both young and older audiences.
Dragonball Evolution tells the story of Goku, (played particularly well by Justin Chatwin) who receives a mystical dragonball from his grandfather, Gohan (Randall Duk Kim) on his 18th birthday.
His grandfather tells him it is to be used when the evil demon, Piccolo (James Marsters), is reincarnated and wreaks havoc on the Earth once again.
It is not long before Goku realises the dreaded demon has in fact returned, and like him, is after the seven dragonballs in order to achieve supreme power.
A mystical dragon will deliver the holder of the seven dragonballs one important wish – which Goku wants to use to rid the world of Piccolo once and for all.
Joining Goku on his quest is Master Roshi (played by Asian superstar Chow Yun Fat of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon fame), Bulma (Emmy Rossum), Yamcha (Joon Park), and Chi Chi (Jamie Chung) - Goku’s love interest.
As with recent blockbuster Watchmen, the director has been somewhat unsuccessful in adapting a famous comic book to the screen, but in the case of Dragonball Evolution, it is apparent that Wong’s intentions to stray from the comic book were deliberate - creating characters and scenes to delight a much broader audience than followers of the comic book -knowing full well he might displease a number of Dragonball Z fans.
Most of all, this is an entertaining movie that focuses on the fight between good and evil, which is greatly assisted by some fascinating action sequences and special effects, and delivered by a good blend of actors (especially the two female co-stars-Rossum and Chung) who perform their roles with a great deal of appeal and energy.
And, if Wong’s production of Dragonball Evolution turns out to be a success by the viewing audience, there is certain to be a sequel – as indicated in the scene shown after the credits.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 Rubber Stamps