Movie Review: Death Note
Updated: May 28, 2019
I never watched or even this series prior to the film. Honestly, I am not an anime guy. Sure, growing up I watched Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Ninja Scroll and etc. but the new wave Anime was never appealing to me at all. What got me interested in this film? Who wouldn’t want to see Willem Dafoe as a Death god?
“Based on the famous Japanese manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Death Note follows a high school student who comes across a supernatural notebook, realizing it holds within it a great power; if the owner inscribes someone's name into it while picturing their face, he or she will die. Intoxicated with his new godlike abilities, the young man begins to kill those he deems unworthy of life.”
This film is already taking a beating by the hardcore fans of the manga because it wasn’t true to form to the manga. I am not sure I would be upset. L was not black in the manga. I hear you. However, the actor played a magnificent job of the character. This is not like when Michael Clarke Duncan when he played Kingpin. He was given that role because he was hot at that time due to Green Mile. He was not a strong enough actor to be that role. Had nothing to do with him being black.
Light Tagami(Nat Wolff) still grieving the loss of his mother when randomly the Death Note dropped out of the sky. No build up. Just fell out of the sky during a random thunderstorm that just appeared. Okie Dokie. Moving on… As he attempts to flee from the storm and comes across some kids bullying another. Misa Amane(Margaret Qualley), which is a girl he is infatuated with attempted to break it up but he decided he wanted to show off to her. He got knocked out for his troubles. When he was found, they found all the tests/essays he wrote for other students and was sent to detention. It was there he learned about the Death Note and how powerful Ryuk (Willem Dafoe) truly was. However, Light became drunk with power and formed a cult named, Kira. Under the cult name he began writing names of powerful, evil people in his DeathNote for Ryuk to kill.
This gained the attention of L (Keith Stanfield), who worked for the authorities and was obsessed with Kira. However as the story progresses he learns that Kira is more than just a person and begins to realize who light is. He tries to convince Light to stop. However, Light is no longer the issue. Misa has now become influenced by the book and was ordering the death of innocent people to ensure their secret stayed safe. This ultimately effects the ending of the film but I won’t ruin that for you.
IMDB, has this ranked at 4.7/10. I thought it was a good 7/10. Mainly because of how graphic the deaths were, Willem Dafoe and the story wasn’t that bad. It kept you interested/engaged and the ending leaves you wanting a follow-up.