In most movie adaptations there are some things that are changed, but at least the spirit of the original is there. This is not the case with Dragonball Evolution. Everything was changed.
I've read the excuse that this was to bring in new fans, most likely kids but they take one of the things would bring in kids, the fact when Goku started out he was about 12 or 13.
Interviews with the director and stars Said something like “it would look too silly to have a kid beating up people."
Odd, since movies, like Harry Potter, and Spy Kids have at least made enough money to get sequels unlike DBE. Although I don't know how good they are since I've never seen them they seemed to get the demographic they wanted to.
DBE, Well it annoys DB/DBZ fans with all the changes, and bores kids since for long periods there’s nothing happening but Goku whining about how he's different or Just a lot of talking. Oh, and Goku has a thinly veiled sex fantasy about Chichi in class. Not sure who that was for.
So how much did the characters get changed? Goku went from naive jungle boy to whining emo who I guess was taken from the Peter Parker Archetype. Problem is Pete, actually lightens up when he puts on the Spider-Man mask, and starts with the scathing one liners on his foes. Goku on the other hand is constantly emo, and sometimes growls like Wolverine. Not intimidating when you look like this.
Bulma was turned from a boy crazy girlie girl into the Tomb Raider. Roshi was embarrassed that he was perverted, unlike the Anime, and Yamcha went from a some what competent fighter, to a fairly useless idiot. And he talked like Michelangelo from the 1980's Ninja Turtles cartoon.
Mai turning into Mystique really didn’t bother me since she was a fairly minor character, but Piccolo well I have no idea how he was done since he was only in the movie for about ten minutes, and he was the main villain. Chichi was pretty much just eye candy.
The changes wouldn't have been so bad I suppose if the movie was on some level entertaining so I wouldn't see it as a Dragonball movie but just a movie, well the fighting was too bad to be considered cheesy. I've seen better on Power Rangers.
Speaking of Power Rangers Piccolo’s monsters or creations looked like they were rejects from that show. And the special effects well they looked direct to DVD movie, Sci-Fi channel effects.
What really takes you out of it are the plot holes though. At the beginning of the movie they explain how Piccolo, and an ape like alien called Oozaru attack the planet Thousands of years ago Piccolo is sealed up in a magic jar, while Oozaru is banished.
In the present day Piccolo is just here, doesn't explain how he was freed, he's just there. He's after The Dragonballs for some vague reason that's never explained. And I don't think it's to take over the world since he seemed to be powerful enough to do that already. he blew up a village, and an ocean under his own power. Somehow he was able to sense where the Dragonballs are when everyone else needs devices to find them that are never explained.
Yamcha captured the main heroes at one point, Roshi takes this time to explain Piccolo’s story, again, after it was explained 30 minutes ago at the beginning of the movie. Then after what looks like hours since it's the daytime when they fall in the hole, and night at this point Roshi jumps out, and makes a deal with Yamcha, why couldn't have done that hours ago?
Oh and the biggest plot hole that takes me out of the whole movie with its "WTF" ness. They mad a point that Goku was on his 18th birthday, it was brought up a lot. But Piccolo reveals to Goku that he's the 1,000 year old Oozaru, but one of the scenes during the explanation shows Goku’s adopted picking him up as a baby from a spaceship 18 years ago.
Is he 18 or a thousand? Is he reincarnated from the first Oozaru? Is he the same species? Did Oozaru somehow de age himself? Who knows? That's never explained. The next plot hole was more just amusing than mind boggling.
Goku turns into Oozaru, which unlike the Anime isn't a King Kong sized ape, but is a cross between a werewolf, and the Incredible Hulk his clothes get torn like you'd expect from a little scrawny guy turning into a seven foot buff monster, but when he turns back into Goku his clothes are fine. They regenerated or something.
That was just funny.
What didn't help this movie is that it ripped off a lot of other movies or shows, I mentioned Spider-Man, But it also called the Kamehameha “air bending." Yes they stole a bit from Avatar, and the Oozaru seemed more like the Hulk and Naruto combined than the DBZ version. In fact the final fight with Piccolo was more Naruto like than Dragonball with all the hand gestures it took form the Kamehameha.
Now what did like about this movie? Well the women are hot.
But, hot women are in most movies and many of those have better plots. And really I can see hot women for free just by taking a walk in town.
Now how would I change the movie? Well first off a Dragonball movie can't be made with the small budget this movie had, but somewhat closer to the Anime with the crazy fantasy setting dinosaurs, freaky talking animals the planet looking like an alternate Earth instead of a vacant lot with one futuristic city.
Plus the characters would be a lot closer to what they were in the Anime I think instead of Piccolo though Goku should fight the Red Ribbon Army fighting tanks, planes, soldiers and eventually cyborgs would make for a better first movie I think.
Piccolo should have waited for a sequel.
As for DBE itself there's rumors of a sequel but nothing official from Fox, it mostly seems to be fanboy wishful thinking from the few s that actually liked it, and with as little as this movie made, I can't see producers actually spending all that much to make a sequel better.