Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie

2004, Movie, PG, 90 mins


Young fans of the popular animated series and trading-card game will probably be delighted to see their favorite characters in this big-screen adaptation. But for children with other interests or adults press-ganged into accompanying little Yu-Gi-Oh! lovers to the theater the news is grim: The movie offers nothing that could be objectively construed as entertaining. Curious young Yugi (voice of Dan Green) decides to devote his energies to assembling his grandfather's millennium puzzle. Little does he know that the stone pyramid he's piecing together is actually connected to an ancient pharaoh. Once the puzzle is completed, Yugi is connected to the pharaoh as well. When Yugi plays "Duel Monsters," a popular card game, his ancient alter ego takes over and together they form an unbeatable partnership. Especially since their deck is loaded with three "god cards," which when played simultaneously are nearly invincible. Yugi's rival, Kaiba (Eric Stuart), is miffed that Yugi's monsters easily defeat his dragon, and plots to take down his nemesis at any cost. Kaiba pays a visit to "Duel Monsters" creator Pegasus (Darren Dunstan), hoping to acquire a card that will end Yugi's reign as champion. He challenges Pegasus to battle, betting his top monster card against a legendary card that will trump Yugi's god cards. But another mysterious force is at work: The spirit of Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead, has also been recently released and he's still steamed that the Pharoah locked him up thousands of years ago, putting an end to his world-destroying "shadow games." Anubis wants revenge and makes sure that Kaiba not only wins a helpful card, but a second, more dangerous card as well; the unsuspecting Yugi gets more than he expected during his next face-off with Kaiba. There's little plot or what most people understand to be dialogue, and much of the movie is taken up with talk about life points and attack points, monsters, magicians and dragons, putting cards face down, sacrificing cards, obligatory summonses and other made-up terms that are neither comprehensible to the uninitiated nor the slightest bit interesting. While this probably constitutes a good tutorial in the trading-card game's lingo and lore, it's tremendously boring to watch an animated series in which most of the fighting doesn't even involve combat, just characters looking at cards and deciding whose numbers stack up best. leave a comment --Angel Cohn

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