Saturday, January 28, 2017

Spoiler-ish Yu-Gi-Oh Dark Side of Dimensions Review

In a world that is eating nostalgia up faster than popcorn during movie theater trailer, it’s not surprising to see so many franchises from the past 20 years and longer trying to make some sort of comeback. Power Rangers is doing that this year, Digimon started celebrating their 15th anniversary a couple years ago, and we’ve already gotten 2 seasons of Fuller House on Netflix. So I was excited to see Yu-Gi-Oh’s 20th anniversary movie this weekend, but I was underwhelmed and disappointed.

So the concept is solid: Pharaoh Atem’s spirit has been released for a while, but Kaiba having the big head that he does can’t leave it alone. He is determined to bring the Pharaoh back and duel him to settle his score. Next enter a new villain who has a vendetta and of course Yugi ends up right in the middle of it. While I liked the concept (the idea of bringing the Pharaoh back was intriguing because both Yugi and Kaiba were struggling to come to terms with his departure), the actual execution of this plot was not well done. And then in the end it was all wrapped with a deus ex machina that didn’t even get an ounce of explanation. So while Yugi and Kaiba got closure, I didn’t.

One thing I liked about this movie was bringing back the entire
gang back together again. Regardless of my other critiques,
the characterization of each of these were on point.

In a way the plot and mechanics of the movie were a little over-complicated. Instead of just a villain and a vendetta, we got oodles of backstory that I didn’t even care about. I mean, some villain backstory is necessary, but I felt like we got too much. Besides all that, the villain’s method of dueling was bizarre. If it had been properly explained, it might have been fine. Instead, things were brushed over. Also there were a lot of new cards added (mostly support cards for Blue-Eyes and Dark Magician) that I knew nothing about, so I was lost as far as exactly what they were doing. Granted, unlike in the TV show, the effects were written on the cards, but I don’t think split second shots to read card effects is sufficient.

Speaking of cards, I also didn’t care for the redesign of some of the cards. Dark Magician and Obelisk the Tormentor looked way too different from the original anime. Now if 100% of the cards had changed, I’d have been more okay with it. Instead, Dark Magician Girl and others looked exactly the same. I don’t know if it was to make the tone of the movie darker or what, but I didn’t care for it much. I certainly didn’t care for the inconsistency.

Dark Magician was the same in the card, so
why did the hologram change?

I’m also a bit sick of Kaiba’s overly prideful attitude. He’s always been obnoxious and a jerk (and a bit delusional), but I’d have thought after his experience in the Memory World and the final duel between Yugi and Atem (granted, that only happened in the anime, not the manga) that he’d be a bit humbler. Nope, instead he developed a god complex as he developed his new tech. Like I said, delusional.

One final critique: As much as this movie tried to tie up some loose ends regarding Bakura and Shadi and giving closure to Yugi and Kaiba, it left me with more questions, regarding the nature of the Millennium Items, the fate of the Pharaoh, and Shadi’s past (never mind that ending). I understand that this movie wasn’t planned when the original story was written, but the added details didn’t sit too well with me. It felt like there was inconsistencies in the story…. And having been a huge fan of Once Upon a Time and Lost, I have proven that I can handle inconsistencies and plot holes.

The movie had some good themes. The idea of fear and hate not being able to fix anything or make a better world is perfect for our world today. Like I said in a previous post, I see a lot of us vs. them going on (and Facebook is just a small microcosm of that) and it’s not going to solve anything in the world. A world of peace CANNOT be created through fear and anger.

As much as I have my issues with this movie, it was nice
to see Yugi finally face Kaiba all on his own.

Honestly, if this movie had been a trilogy or something, it might have been better, kind of like how Digimon is doing six movies for Digimon Adventure Tri. If we’d had more time, we could have gotten used to Dimension Duels and we could have had more time to develop the villain and we wouldn’t have had to rush through the duels we had.

All in all, there was nothing wrong with the movie… just hard to follow and process. Maybe if I watch it a second time I’ll feel differently, but I was frustrated enough with this that I’d rather not buy the movie. I’d rather watch one of the other two movies (“Pyramid of Light” or “Bonds Beyond Time”); they’re not perfect, but they were a lot more self-contained than this one.

Anyway, I’m done ranting. If you’ve seen “Dark Side of Dimensions”, let me know what you think. Would you recommend it? Do you disagree with me or am I on point?

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