DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION, based on the Japanese graphic novel, animated TV series and games, is the live-action story of Goku, the “promised one” who must gather seven magical orbs, the dragonballs, in order to be granted one wish, and that wish is that Lord Piccolo will not reign evil over the world. Goku knows he has special powers but is unaware of his destiny. His grandfather/mentor tells him he has to “believe in who he is,” which becomes instrumental when he fights Piccolo in the end.
When his grandfather is killed by Piccolo, Goku picks up the team of Bulma, Roshi and Chi Chi, who set out to help him find all seven dragonballs. As the characters travel on the adventure, which greatly resembles game play in video games, they encounter obstacles. Ultimately, they are able to encounter the evil Piccolo and make a surprising wish once they have the seven dragonballs.
DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION is a fun adventure that is well made. Legendary martial arts actor Chow Yun-Fat is terrific as the mentor, Roshi. Also, Justin Chatwin delivers a great performance in the role of Goku, much to the expectations of many manga fans everywhere. The story is action and adventure with a small emotional story. The theme is the growth of Goku as he learns to accept who he is and his purpose in life.
There is only one minor obscenity and no negative sexual content or nudity. There is much fantasy violence that has no blood and, if a character dies, the mentor uses his powers to bring him back to life. So, while there is a great deal of martial arts violence, it is in the context of fantasy.
There are themes of self-sacrifice, living for a greater good, controlling anger, and humility. However, overshadowing these redemptive, moral themes is the overarching theme of “believing in who you are.” At some level, this can be a biblical theme if we all realize that we are created and saved by God for a purpose. However, in the context of the movie, it means finding your destiny by looking inside yourself. There are also pagan themes with Buddhist elements and much magic created by special powers.
If parents allow their children to see the movie, plan on some discussion about the real source of power, including discussion on how to use the Bible to discover God’s purpose for their lives.
(PaPaPa, FRFR, RoRo, C, BB, L, VV, M) Very strong pagan mixture with elements of Eastern religion coupled with Eastern/Romantic ideals of believing in yourself and redemptive, moral themes of sacrifice, humility and integrity; one mild obscenity; martial arts fantasy violence as characters flip and fly while they battle, gunplay, house falls on character, explosions; no sexual content but characters kiss at the end; no nudity but exposed cleavage of female character; no alcohol; no smoking; and, fantasy villain out for revenge, with statements of avenging death.
DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION is the story of Goku, the “promised one” who must gather seven magical orbs in order to defeat the evil Lord Piccolo. Goku’s mentor tells him that he has to “believe in who he is,” which becomes instrumental when he fights Lord Piccolo. As the characters travel on their adventure, which greatly resembles game play in video games, they encounter obstacles, but ultimately conquer the evil.
DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION is an exciting adventure that is well made. The theme is the growth of Goku as he learns to accept who he is and his purpose in life. There is much martial arts violence that is graphic, but in the context of fantasy. No one dies in the action scenes and there is no blood. The movie contains themes of self-sacrifice, living for a greater good, controlling anger, and humility. However, overshadowing these redemptive, moral themes is some Eastern mysticism and the message of “believing in who you are.” If parents allow their children to see the movie, plan on some discussion about the real source of power, including discussion on how to discover God’s purpose for their lives.