I watched this film few weeks ago & I wasn’t really satisfied with the movie. It is certainly not the worst film I’ve seen so far, but still It could have been made way way better. I’m not really a fan of the Japanese anime series of this film, I had only a minimal knowledge of it. But this film adaptation is a lot different from the Japanese series. The only thing that actually had any relation to the actual anime are the characters’ names and the actual dragon balls. The major difference is the story. The script is poorly written with lots of conflicting & cheezy lines. The characters are flat and don’t have any motivations. James Marsters as Lord Piccolo is given little to do, other than to look menacing and make his hand seem to crush things. He and his sidekick are pure window dressing in the film, just to give our heroes something to do. The acting might be better too if the material was good for the first place.
There were plot holes in the story too. Master Rochi reveals that he can fly. Then later, why they can’t get around some molten lava to get to a dragon ball? Also, they didn’t even found the 7 dragon balls, they just found 6: Piccolo has three: the one in the village, the one in the lake, and the one that stole from Bulma. Goku has one from his grandpa, Roshi has one and they find one at the volcano. That is only 6! Where is the other one?
It seems that the movie was done in a tiny scale. It lacked the darker angle of epic films like The Dark Knight and Harry Potter. The pacing is also quite bad, which makes it even more obvious just how absurdly weak the story is. The scenes jumps from one scene to another with little or no transition; everything seems rushed and cobbled together. They should have made the film longer to show all necessary scenes to make the movie more seamless. For an action-film based on manga, the CGI graphics were sub-par and quite bad. The cinematography is as flat and uninteresting as the story itself. So, it’s not a great film, maybe it will work for a younger audience who doesn’t care much about the plot of the story. Though I liked the fact that they made Goku a teenager instead of a child like he was in the anime. I just can’t imagine watching a kid flying around doing a kamehameha and kicking some ass, it would feel more of a comedy then. Plus you wouldn’t have had much of a romance develop between him and chi chi if he is a kid.