Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins
Westwood secretly overhears this conversation and hurries to dig up a tiny treasure chest full of gold, jewels, and a dragon pearl! Westwood knows where Turtle Man lives as well, and he intends to foil his new nemesiseseses by beating them to Turtle Man and making Turtle Man think they are coming to fight him.
Meanwhile, on Turtle Man Island, we see that Turtle Man lives within a lovely white and red mansion next to a volcano. Turtle Man is a bald old man in a t-shirt and boxer shorts with a huge white mustache, even huger round black sunglasses, and a turtle shell strapped to his back. Some hideous form of Japanese rap music starts playing when Turtle Man exits his manor and he begins to dance. It's reminiscent of those appalling Six Flags commercials with the dancing old man and it goes on way too long. But the madness of Turtle Man is only beginning.
After his dance routine he uses his powerful magic to summon a glowing golden cloud from the heavens. He jumps on top of it and commands it to take him around the globe so that he can look at pretty girls. The cloud is having none of that and dumps Turtle Man on his shell back on the island. This angers Turtle Man who shoots some form of harpoons out of his shell and tries to pull the cloud back down to the ground. The cloud is stronger than he is and ends up dragging him across the beach, planting him face first on a surf board, and pulling him down a pier and into the ocean. I would imagine this sequence would be hilarious to three year olds and the retarded, but parents might object to the fact that it has an underlying "sex predator" theme. That makes it like most of the rest of the movie.
Westwood rides to the island on his gay cowboy jet ski and warns Turtle Man that a group of interlopers are approaching with plans to challenge Turtle Man to combat. Tootie and his group of ne'er-do-wells arrive moments later in their mysteriously acquired speed boat. Oh, and Seetoe and Jade have both changed clothes again, I guess whoever gave them the motor boat also gave them fresh frocks. Turtle Man stomps down to the beach to greet them, intent on giving them what-for, but when he spies Seetoe he is instantly smitten. He becomes "all itchy" and scratches himself and generally hams it up in one of the most humiliating displays of arousal since that time my friend got humped by my dog when he was trying to hook up the Super Nintendo.
To solve the riddle of who is lying, Turtle Man summons his magic cloud and explains that only someone of pure heart and honesty can ride on it. He demonstrates that this is the case by jumping on it himself and then falling through it. Westwood jumps up on the magic cloud first, but the cloud immediately dumps him on the ground. Tootie jumps on the cloud next and not only stands on it, but commands it to whisk him away into the sun in an incredible CGI effect. When Tootie returns Turtle Man grants Tootie control over the magic cloud since it will no longer listen to him. Then they get on the subject of dragon pearls. It is revealed that Turtle Man has a dragon pearl and so does Westwood, also I guess Seetoe's dragon pearl was taken but I missed that somewhere in the breakneck pacing of this film. It's so hard to keep track of a bunch of different paperweights. I feel like I'm running a fucking Hallmark store full of sly grannies trying to get a five-fingered discount.
Turtle Man forces Westwood to give Seetoe his dragon pearl, but he drives a hard bargain for his own. He'll only hand it over if Seetoe shows him her tits. Seetoe and the gang head into Turtle Man's house to discuss their options. Seetoe obviously doesn't want to bare her breasts, so Piggy proposes an alternative; he can transform himself into Seetoe. After a few failed attempts he becomes a big-chested version of Seetoe and saunters outside to perform a strip tease for Turtle Man. This sequence is probably one of the most agonizing things I have ever watched outside of snuff films and video of medical procedures. The faux Seetoe finally opens up her shirt for Turtle Man, showing the audience nothing but showing the hard-backed pervert the proverbial goods.
I Can't Believe It's Not Seetoe snatches the dragon pearl from Turtle Man as Turtle Man experiences some sort of vile gyrating, tongue flopping, epileptic fit. The supposed good guys now have three dragon pearls and so do the bad guys, but that's about to change. Just as Tootie & Co. are celebrating the acquisition of their new dragon pearl a fleet of shoes appears in the sky overhead. The shoes begin strafing Turtle Man's mansion, forcing even the highly-aroused Turtle Man himself to seek cover within his shell. Zebrata and Malila beam down from their command shoe and begin launching explosions at the mansion and the good guys. Turtle Man battles them while Tootie and his companions head for the hills on the magic cloud, somehow leaving behind their three dragon pearls. Malila captures them and just as Turtle Man seems about to do something to turn the tide of the battle, they escape to their shoe with the dragon pearls. Of course, before departing the shoes make the entire island erupt in an explosion that generates a mushroom cloud to rival Hiroshima. The makers of Dragon Ball obviously spared no expense on their explosions to such an extent that they spared all expense on pretty much everything else.
King Horn gloats about having six dragon pearls. Zebrata tries to rain on his parade by asking where the seventh is, but King Horn insists that now that they have six of them the seventh will be delivered by its owner. Later, Tootie, Piggy, Jade, and Seetoe are walking through a swampy forest that looks like it has been bombed. A dismayingly shirtless Turtle Man emerges from the swamp just as they are joined by glimmering fancy lad Westwood. The newly reformed group conducts a pearl-owners meeting and Turtle Man instructs Piggy to go away while they confer. Oh, if only Piggy had a dragon pearl, then he could really be a member of the group. But wait! While Turtle Man and the others yammer, Piggy wanders off to reflect on&his dragon pearl! Dun, dun, dunnnnnnnnnnn!
Turtle Man spots Piggy holding the pearl and they quickly decide to take this seventh and final pearl to King Horn in the ruined village. Why they decide to do this possibly involves paint fumes or some sort of ancient magical oath to do the stupidest thing conceivable. King Horn's forces detect the approach of the group and, despite his earlier prediction that the pearl will be delivered, he seems anything but welcoming. He orders his henchmen and soldiers to form a blockade and kill the interlopers.
The gang manages to battle their way through King Horn's army with surprising ease. This sequence is pretty grisly and is complete with dozens of people being shot and killed and streets heaped with the dead bodies of the former villagers. Malila is killed by Piggy using an M-16. Sucks to his asmar, indeed! Just when Zebrata is about to take out Turtle Man, good old Seetoe dishes out some poetic justice by shooting him with an explosion. As the group approaches the temple in the center of the village they are stopped by one last mass of King Horn's troopers. Piggy protects the ladies while Turtle Man, Tootie, and Westwood take out the goons.
King Horn chooses the moment of his army's defeat to beam down from one of his shoes with a tied-up grandpa. Oh yeah, we had nearly forgotten that grandpa was taken hostage. Thank goodness he'll be rescued finally! The heroes attempt to pummel King Horn, but he's just too tough, and after tiring of their attempts to beat him up he shoots lightning, turns the film dark blue, and makes all the dead bodies in the town turn into zombies and surround Tootie and his chums. The zombies begin their final march to tear our unfortunate heroes to pieces, but Tootie has other plans. He launches himself into the air and smacks King Horn on the head with the magic pole. This distracts the evil kingpin just long enough to interrupt his zombie lightning. The camera abruptly sheds its blue filter and the zombies collapse once again into corpses, some much more quickly than others.
The heroes renew their ineffectual series of attacks on King Horn, who seems unfazed by the best Tootie and Piggy can dish out. Then Turtle Man realizes that the six dragon pearls in King Horn's possession are being stored inside the evil leader's belly. If they combine the seventh via King Horn's digestive tract it will cause a chain reaction that will kill King Horn. Don't bother wondering why King Horn swallowed the six dragon pearls in the first place. Maybe he was hungry and they were the only thing handy, maybe he has pica. Whatever the explanation the movie isn't offering up any clues.
Turtle Man grabs King Horn by his crudely applied latex jowls and rams the final dragon pearl between his lips. Tootie follows up with his magic pole and knocks a dragon pearl in the corner pocket. Bad film effect renditions of the dragon pearls swirl around on King Horn's belly for a couple of seconds and then, with an anguished cry, King Horn explodes. After recovering from the blast the heroes dust themselves off and see a dragon floating in the sky above them. Actually, that's not fair to you. It's not so much a dragon as it is a rubber toy with a bad negative film effect on it and about as much puppeteer control as a cinderblock wrapped in anchor chains. Its mouth flaps and it asks the heroes what their wish is.
Jade remembers she is in the movie and wishes that everything was back to the way it was before King Horn arrived with his army. There is a flash and all of the huts are unexploded and all of the townspeople are unmassacred, essentially taking us back to the very beginning as if the whole movie never happened. The dragon's powers are indeed mighty, but they unfortunately do not extend to the real world and he was unable to make me unwatch the movie. The very last gag of this appallingly bad film is to freeze frame on Tootie and Westwood about to duel. I could tell you why, but honestly, who gives a shit?
"Who gives a shit?" is pretty much my refrain for this entire movie. The character motivations do not even approach anything I can empathize with, let alone understand. I think the best way to examine this in the movie is to reflect on King Horn and his evil plot to amass the seven dragon pearls. For starters King Horn has tanks, flying shoes, and hundreds if not thousands of fanatical soldiers willing to die for him. He obviously has the ability to conquer and subjugate the entire planet. He seems to have little difficulty in massacring an entire village and that's the largest population center we see. What use is a wish from the glowing dragon puppet when he can take whatever he desires through force of arms? I could see wanting to have a few dragon pearls just to make sure some hero doesn't start gathering them up to wish you out of existence, but having all of them is not necessary.
Which brings me to the second big problem; why swallow six dragon pearls if swallowing the seventh will make you blow up? Is it really that convenient to have dragon pearls floating around your upper GI tract or couldn't you just keep them in the box they're in throughout most of the movie? What was he even planning to do with the seventh one? Swallow it? Regurgitate the other six? Just let your shoes blow up Tootie and the rest of those shit heads! You rule the world!
I could give Dragon Ball the benefit of the doubt and assume that all of my questions are answered by the encyclopedic mythology surrounding the ten to twenty thousand episodes of various TV shows. But fuck that, I had to sit through this shit.
|Special Effects:||- 9|
|Music / Sound:||- 10|