Adaptation true to TV cartoon, for what it’s worth …

<br> Dang, Chung!

Dang, Chung!

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Dragonball: Evolution
Starring Justin Chatwin, Emmy Rossum and Jamie Chung. Directed by James Wong. Feather River Cinemas and Tinseltown. Rated PG.
Rated 1.0

If you’ve never seen the Dragonball cartoon series but love someone who has, you might find yourself in a theater wondering just what you got yourself into. Y’all will probably be alone, because Dragonball: Evolution didn’t even crack $5 million last weekend (so much for the sequel, set up in a bonus scene during the credits). Fans are fans, though, which means no warning, no matter how strong, will save you from 84 minutes of mostly lame moviemaking; might as well just prepare yourself for what you’ve got coming:

Two millennia ago, a green lizardman of an alien named Lord Piccolo (or King Piccolo, depending on his delusions) came to Earth and, with a nasty creature named Oozaru, nearly made our planet more dark and scary than it is today. He got thwarted, thanks to seven “dragonballs” that, when brought together, grant a “perfect wish” (as opposed to the stuuuuupid wish our hero thinks up … oh, sorry, getting ahead of myself).

Anyway, the dragonballs have scattered, and Piccolo has risen from the depths of wherever, so it’s up to high school outcast Goku (white dude, Asian name, Asian granddad—whatever) to get the glowing orbs before the big baddie.

I know, the suspense must be killing you; can Goku do it? This typically bad bit of dialogue may hold your answer. Addressing Piccolo—sorry, Lord Piccolo—our intrepid teen declares: “I am Goku. I am Oozaru. In order to defeat you, I must be one with myself.” (OK, maybe that’s not much help …)

Don’t expect Oscar-caliber directing or acting. In fact, there’ll probably be a few Razzies out of this monstrous epic. Worst supporting actor: Chow Yun Fat as the inexplicably ditzy Master Roshi. Worst supporting actress: Emmy Rossum, a Golden Globe nominee for Phantom of the Opera who barely phones it in as the sartorially challenged Bulma. Worst director: James Wong. Worst screenwriter: Ben Ramsey.

There’s only one bright spot. Jamie Chung, the Real World: San Diego roommate making her big-screen debut, is truly luminous. Effortlessly and natural, she lights up the screen as Goku’s love interest, Chi Chi. If only everything around her were better.

My movie date, who used to watch Dragonball on TV, said the film is true to the cartoon. The characters look right and act right (oh, lordy …), and the action matches.

Her score: 2

Ah, fans …