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DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION

SYNOPSIS:
The young warrior Son Goku (Justin Chatwin) sets out on a quest, racing against time and the vengeful King Piccolo (James Marsters), to collect a set of seven magical orbs that will grant their wielder unlimited power, with the help of Bulma (Emmy Rossum), mercenary Yum Cha (Joon Park) and Master Roshi (Yun-Fat Chow).

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Plenty of digital wizardry is used to adapt this Manga adventure fantasy to the screen, combining elements of martial arts, mystical & spiritual concepts as well as dragons who deliver wishes - if everything is in place ... like seven dragonballs. Fans will be familiar with the characters and elements but not being a Dragonball fan I can't tell how they will respond to the film's treatment of this mega-Manga series. It's a clear cut story about Goku (Justin Chatwin) who turns 18 - the age at which, as his grandfather (Randall Duk Kim) explains, his origins will be made known to him.

The mission for Goku is to find all seven of the Dragonballs; the first few are relatively easy, but soon the adventure becomes deadly as they get closer to the newly returned evil Piccolo (James Marsters) who plans to destroy our planet, with the evil assistance of his monster assistant. Emmy Rossum is a revelation, discarding her demure virgin as Christine in Phantom of the Opera for a feisty fighting lass. Jamie Chung is also terrific as the lovely Chi Chi, who falls for Goku, and Justin Chatwin is well cast as the plucky teenager thrust into the role of saving the world. He has some serious help from Master Roshi, a colourful and entertaining character delivered with good humour by the film's biggest star, Yun-Fat Chow. Joon Park also makes his mark as the carefree mercenary, Yum Cha.

Action packed and well paced, the film delivers exactly what it promises in terms of its style and quality effects and should appeal to the 15 - 24 crowd.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION (PG)
(US/Japan, 2009)

CAST: Justin Chatwin, Yun-Fat Chow, Emmy Rossum, Jamie Chung, James Marsters, Joon Park, Eriko Tamura, Randall Duk Kim, Ernie Hudson,

PRODUCER: Stephen Chow

DIRECTOR: James Wong

SCRIPT: Ben Ramsey, (graphic novels by Akira Toriyama)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert McLachlan

EDITOR: Matt Friedman, Chris G. Willingham

MUSIC: Brian Tyler

RUNNING TIME: 82 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 9, 2009







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