Back in October, I wrote a little piece on the leaked trailer for Dragonball (now re-named Dragonball Evolution) and in it I basically talked about how terrible the teaser looked. I was clearly not the only one who thought this and after 91 comments and some feuding, Screen Rant Master Vic had to shut down the thread to simmer things down.
In defense of the movie (at that time), that trailer was very early and not complete in terms of post-production. Today however, we have the first official trailer for the upcoming live-action adaptation of the hit Manga series and it still sucks… maybe even more than the first teaser.
From this trailer, the characters and costumes look ridiculous (especially the secondary characters), the fight choreography looks awful and the dialogue and cinematography has B-movie or worse written all over it. Not to mention the terrible use of slow motion in some of the action sequences.
Don’t believe me? Watch and see:
Now, re-watch it while trying to put aside the special effects (which are 95% of it) and focus on what’s actually happening, especially the dialogue and acting. They are burying this in heavy visual and sound effects.
It looks like they’re trying so hard to take and use cool styles from other films but this movie doesn’t have that kind of ‘cool’ and using those techniques in the wrong places with poor execution really makes this feel over-the-top but in a bad way.
What I’m seeing from the trailer and images of this film give me the exact same feeling as Catwoman and Elektra did – both of which are both on my list of worst movies ever.
Some stories simply cannot be translated to the big screen. Have you seen the characters from Dragonball Z or its action sequences? It’s not even remotely human. The show was super popular and many people I know really dug it but I don’t think it makes for a live-action version, especially if it’s supposed to be faithful to the cartoon. Even if it’s not, the extreme nature, extreme style and crazyness that was Dragonball Z (for example) can’t be done in reality because it’s so far from reality that it looks stupid when they try to imitate with real people. The styles are simply too different.
Even the characters saying the word “dragonball” while holding a literal glowing ball sounds and looks like cheese in live-action. And that scene with that vehicle transforming while Justin Chatwin (playing Goku) says “cool” is really awesome too... Not.
I can’t tell if this is made solely for the fans of old (not me) and the young audiences or if the fans of the series’ will hate this and Fox is actually targeting more of a mainstream audience.
I don’t know if the movie will actually be as bad as I think this trailer is because I know Dragonball isn’t my thing regardless - but I expect pretty weak box-office earnings and I know I will not see it at the theater. Like I said in my first article, it might be a fun rental. I would love to know what fans of the cartoons think of this. Do you think it can be done well in live-action? Does this meet your expectations? And for those who don’t know much about Dragonball or simply may not have fancied the cartoons, will you see this flick?
Dragonball Evolution stars Justin Chatwin, James Marsters and Chow Yun-Fat and comes out April 8, 2009.