Dec 10 2008 6:55pm

Dragonball Live-Action Movie Trailer

If you run in nerd circles, you’ve inevitably come up against the nerdier-than-thou types who ruin any casual enjoyment of a series (some times even whole genres) with their preaching. (If you’re a good nerd, you ought to have been that sort of mechanerd once or twice yourself.) Most of the time, it’s fine to just nod and shake your head at appropriate moments. Eventually, however, someone is going to catch you out at your pretense of being in-the-know. I find that it’s just better to state your ignorance upfront and admit that you’re proceeding from a standpoint of being only semi-informed.

So, with that in mind, I am ready to present to you the brand new Dragonball live-action movie trailer. (Full title: Dragonball Evolution. Because they’ve evolved into real people, but you’d never know it from some of the acting choices.) I caught a few episodes of Dragonball Z on Cartoon Network. I checked in on a Monday and there Was! A! Fight! About! To! Happen! Lives! Were! At! Stake! By Friday, no one had even set foot in the ring. I guess that means that the live-action movie can only improve on the anime’s pacing, but I’m sure “real” anime nerds will crucify me for even suggesting it.

That said, this looks like a fabulously bad movie:

Chow Yun-Fat does a mystical exposition dump! He doesn’t even giggle when he says “dragonballs,” which ought to earn him a medal or something. He does say it as fast as he possibly can, though. “Okay, ha-ha, BALLS, people. Moving on...”

Offended fans line up to the right. Offended people with taste to the left.

Ben R
1. sphericaltime
Okay, apparently James Marsters from Buffy is going to be playing Piccolo, but it still ticks me off that they made Goku white.
Chris Byler
2. cbyler
Actually, "real" anime nerds have been mocking Dragonball and Dragonball fans for years. And the ball jokes have already been done - in canon, even.

It's sad that actors with actual talent like Chow Yun-Fat and James Marsters can't find anything better to work on.
Heather Massey
3. sfrgalaxy
That trailer just made me want to go and watch my copy of Shaolin Soccer. Stephen Chow could have made a kick ass version of Dragonball.

Poor Chow Yun-Fat.
Jeff Shreve
4. flotsamjeffsam
Yeah, sphericaltime, the Goku casting bugged me as well.

I guess I'll get in line on the right, but can someone hold my spot in the left as well?
David Lev
5. davidlev
As a passive former fan of Dragonball (which I liked better than Dragonball Z, because it was kinda cute), I am offended by this. I have never seen a movie that deviates from its source material as much as this one looks like it's going to. Not Super Mario Brothers, not Constantine, not League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. If Akira Toriyama ever saw this, I think he would die
Sandra Rosa
6. scbrosa
He doesn’t even giggle when he says “dragonballs,” which ought to earn him a medal or something.

considering he's supposed to interpret a horny old man, that's not actually a good thing lol.
Seriously though the original Dragonball series was silly and cheesy, but it was good cheesy, it had a childish kind of charm!

this on the other hand is just another idiotic action film!
Dayle McClintock
7. trinityvixen
sphericaltime and flotsamjeffsam: THANK YOU. I agree with you. I love how the one, true hero who will save us all is...a white boy shamelessly aping another culture's everything. If I'm not mistaken, the girl with the fabulous anime hair is also distinctly not Asian.

I kid about the series, but not even Pokemon deserved this sort of treatment.
8. clovis
To quote David Tennant's Doctor Who:

'What? What? What? .... What!!'
Jennifer L. Meyer
9. JLMeyer
This is terrible how little it has in common with the actual material. They should have just removed the dragonballs- put some other wishing device in there and changed the names.

(I am going to split my self in half so I can be in both lines... goku doesnt have a tail or is even at the very least young).
Dayle McClintock
10. trinityvixen
clovis @8 FTW

I just kind of gawked at how shameless this was. I just waited it out, suppressing my "Surely, this is a joke" reflex until the trailer ended and nobody showed up punking me. Just..."WHAT?"
Eugene Myers
11. ecmyers
trinityvixen @7
a white boy shamelessly aping

Inadvertent monkey pun! :) Not that we'll see Goku with a tail in this, I guess.

This looks terrible. But while watching the trailer, it occurs to me that Goku isn't Japanese--he's Saiyan. Though the anime style makes his character design look as Japanese as everyone else (as in, not at all), there's no reason why they would need to cast an Asian actor in the role. Though I still think that was a bad call.

I also preferred Dragonball to Z and its later lettered incarnations, and only the first story arc at that. Good goofy fun as opposed to the goofy garbage they're trying to sell us in this movie. Pass.
12. RobotRevolution
Transformers meets the Matrix. Another reason to dislike Dragonball Z.
Soni Pitts
13. sonipitts
He doesn’t even giggle when he says “dragonballs,”

Perhaps not, but I had the distinctly poor luck to be mid-drink when I read that and almost choked. I don't know Dragonball from high-energy particle physics, but the mental image of Chow Yun Fat seriously intoning the word Dragonballs is well nigh fatal.

The actual video itself was hysterical. Pure comedy gold. Not being a fan and having no canonical ax to grind, I may well go see watch it for it's potential as a weapons-grade martial arts parody.

"With this Dragonball, I take my vengeance..."

Best. Wedding vow. Ever.

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