I was a fan of all things Yu-Gi-Oh as a kid for a while, but drifted away from it before the series came close to ending. As a trip down nostalgia lane, this film was good fun.
The high camp and ultra-theatrical melodrama induced many laughs, particularly the lame overzealous lines being delivered, well, lamely and overzealously. I didn’t watch the film cynically or with a sneer on my face or anything though; I had good earnest fun with the theatricality and cheesiness of it. The humour is the film’s greatest asset, to my mind. It certainly feels “in on the joke”.
Structurally, the film flits around all over the place, different time periods, flashbacks to what I think was the television show itself, visions of different characters, and so on. This helps keep things fresh, but the pacing does lag at points, particularly in the later duels.
The ending seems to hint at some greater thematic point about letting people go, and just being happy for the times you had with them, as a side character’s circumstances end up mirroring one of the main plot points of the movie, but it’s mostly unspoken so I’m unsure if that was the actual intended idea.
Good nostalgic fun. I give it three duel decks, and a piece of the Millennium Puzzle.