I grew up with Goku, watching Dragon Ball, then Dragon Ball Z, then again (unfortunately) Dragon Ball GT. So, some years ago, when a live action Dragon Ball movie was announced, I thought cool, with today's special effects, this will be amazing! Then, they revealed the name of Stephen Chow as producer, so this was sure that this movie was going to be the bomb! Remember Stephen Chow and Shaolin Soccer? Clearly a preview of what could a Dragon Ball movie could look like (from a special effects and martial arts points of view). So all the ingredients were reunited, Asian film martial arts skills, and westerners special effects! Wow!
Now, can someone explain to me, how I could have thought it would great?
It has barely nothing to do with any of the Dragon Ball stories, and I am not just talking about how they spelled the title, in one word. Okay, that's an adaption, a different format, so there are constraints, let's accept this, but the story itself is of no interest. In the manga, Goku is naive and generous, in the movie he just sounds silly and dumb! The fighting scenes are way below average, and the special effects are purely crap! I bet that they hired Stephen Chow as producer, just to have his name in the credits. Obviously, they didn't let him do anything at all!
Then, at some point you think, they certainly saved all the money, for an epic final fight scene, and the apparition of a mighty Great Ape that you keep awaiting all along the movie. So you wait, and wait, impatient, and then, finally, there is a the Great Ape transformation! Yeah! ... hum, wait... it's more or less an Ape, but Great, hum,... For those who know the manga, the Great Ape is of a size of a building or mountain, a King Kong-like creature, uncontrollable and devastating. In the movie, it's of the size of a man, uh?!
So, my recommendation is to avoid this movie like the plague, read the manga, watch the animes, and go watch "real" movies from Stephen Chow. You won't be disappointed. They are often silly, but at a point that it makes them masterpieces, and the fights and special effects are great, everything to have a good time!