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After a couple of weeks of works that are not only shoddy but morally questionable, it’s almost a relief to review a film whose failures are totally aesthetic. And I’m here to tell you, the aesthetic failure of Dragonball:Evolution is indeed total.

Dragonball: Evolution, now out on DVD, is a live-action adaptation of the hugely popular manga and animé — that’s comic book and cartoon, for you filthy round-eye gaijin. If you haven’t heard of Dragonball, ask the nearest ten-year old. Actually, your best bet would be to invent a time machine, hop back about six years, and then ask the nearest ten-year old. At this point, the property is a wee bit past its peak, having finally wrapped up its forty thousand-issue run in Japan’s Shonen Jump Weekly and been collected into bound editions whose aggregate multimillion-page count has been responsible for the total deforestation of several South American nations. The market, to be blunt, may have reached its saturation point some time ago, and the whole product is starting to get a bit whiffy, like a tuna sandwich you’d think twice before eating. Dragonball: Evolution represents an attempt to breathe new life into the franchise, in the absence of new original material.