Who's In It: Justin Chatwin, Chow Yun-Fat, Emmy Rossum, Jamie Chung, James Marsters
The Basics: Goku only has one ball. Okay, he only has one Dragonball, which is different, but I couldn't resist making the kind of joke this movie's target audience of six year-old boys would make if they were suddenly film critics. Anyway, Goku needs to gather the six other Dragonballs that exist in order to save the world's peaceful energy from being controlled by the evil Lord Piccolo and his assymetrically-haired female minion. That he only has one minion is a clue that he's not all that tough to take down.
What's the Deal: Speaking of six year-old boys, the people who made this movie were kind of brilliant to get a release date on the same weekend as Hannah Montana: The Movie. Because it's safe to assume that most boys would most likely not want to tag along with their sister to see that load of sparkle-motion when they could watch people flying through the air and kicking each other in the face and enjoy their first cinematic experience of PG-appropriate lady-cleavage. (It's all over the place in this movie, by the way--the guys are covered up in battle kimonos while the women are running around in full body lycra wetsuits, conveniently unzipped as per the executive producer's notes.) Well-played, Twentieth Century Fox.
1. The vehicles they use to get around are pretty sweet. Some of them just fit into your pocket. You pull it out, throw it on the ground and its a pop-up car. And the evil lord's skinny vertical hovership thingie is kind of awesome to look at, too.
2. The scene where Goku has to light five candles with the boner-power of his mind in order to take the five steps he needs to get close enough to his love interest Chi Chi (Yes, Chi Chi. I know.) to make out with her. Mission accomplished.
3. The part where Goku is transformed into a mindless monster-gorilla-slave who does Lord Piccolo's bidding. This doesn't last long but the gorilla-slave version of this kid is way more interesting than the human one.
Dear Fans of The Other Dragonball Incarnations: I don't know what to say to you people. You may or may not be pleased with this film. I have no idea. This is my first exposure to this particular universe. They may have stomped on its soul and raped its very essence for all I know. But as a child's first martial arts film, it could be a heck of lot worse. It's not incoherent. It's not without logic. It's not un-fun. It's not a lot of things that could turn it into something stinky-bad like Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li.
Where You've Seen Chi Chi Before: Jamie Chung, who plays her, was on The Real World: San Diego. She's got some catching up to do if she wants to be as famous as Jacinda Barrett, but she's got time.