It seems like movies nowadays for better or worse are following the trend of recreating classic books or films. Even Anime’s are not exempt from this as earlier in the year “Ghost In The Shell” was remade into a live action film with mixed reviews. Not to be excluded from the trend Netflix attempts to cash in by making a live action “Death Note” movie set in the United States.
With most of these Anime adaptations largely being misses instead of hits ( I did like the Ghost In The Shell Movie ) will “Death Note”be the one to be that breaks the trend and be a critical success? Unfortunately that answer is a big no. Not only did I not enjoy “Death Note” it maybe the worst film I have seen this year. First of all let’s get pass the whitewashing by moving the location to the United States that’s the least of this movie’s problem. This movie just doesn’t work!
Almost everything about this movie is bad to the point it’s almost unwatchable. The issue starts with the main character Light Turner, a young teen dealing with the death of his mother and bullies who literally has the “Death Note” fall in his lap. This causes him to see the ever charismatic yet terrifying Ryuk ( played exceptionally by Willem Dafoe) which leads Light on a journey for revenge and justice. But the justice comes on his terms. The problem with Light in this version is he never seemed to be the cerebral assassin that he is in the anime. He never even got close to being the guy who could hold the world hostage and have a legion of followers. Even more disappointing is we never got the mental battle between Light and L.
At its core the biggest problem with the movie is that it doesn’t get the point of what “Death Note” is supposed to be. At its core”Death Note” is a battle of wits and morals. It’s Sherlock Holmes verses Moriarty, the ultimate battle of egos as two great minds try to out do each other. A battle of wits between Light and L in which only one would make it out alive. Unfortunately they choose to make it a really bad love story instead of a cerebral thriller. The story between Mia and Light simply did not work as it was not compelling and it was very evident by the end of the movie.
Overall the movie was disappointing from beginning to end and Death Note deserves better.
Score 1.0 out of 10