Monday, September 4, 2017
MARIAH's THOUGHTS on Death Note (2017)
Teen Horror Drama
August 25, 2017
1 hr 40 minutes
Based on Manga Series:
Death Note (デスノート)
Tsugumi Ohba &Takeshi Obata
Warner Bros. (Asia)
Light Turner finds a supernatural notebook and uses it to mete out death, attracting the attention of a detective, a demon and a girl in his class.
Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley, Willem Dafoe, Paul Nakauchi, Lekeith Stanfield, Shea Whigham, Masi Oka, Michael Shamus Wiles
Note: This review contains NO spoilers
As a standalone movie, Death Note (2017) wasn’t that bad of a production for the viewer who “turned their brain off.” The movie was noticeably lacking in depth of characters, appropriate mood, and rushed the entirety of the Death Note plot. The screenplay was a bit choppy making it seem like the rise of Kira as the ultimate tool of justice happened in a few days rather than the original six years. The overall ambiance and choice of pop music made the movie seem like a teen thriller/comedy resembling the Scary Movie or Final Destination series. Most deaths were exaggerated with splatters of blood, crunching bone, and flying organs especially the first death wherein a high school bully is decapitated by a metal ladder. The acting seemed forced such as when the character of L was frustrated by the death of his handler, Watari. At least the setting was appropriately eerie in rainy Seattle, Washington.
As a movie based upon the Death Note manga series by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, I did not feel like this movie should be called Death Note. It had the same concept wherein an intellectual boy finds a God of Death’s notebook but the main characters, Light and L respectively, did not properly represent the characters from the original manga series. I’m not talking about skin color but personality and the way two of the most intelligently gifted characters of anime and manga were presented. Both showed signs of childishness or having a short-temper that is unnatural to the original Death Note series. The most notable scenes that display these traits are Light’s first interaction with Ryuk and L going to Light’s house with a search warrant. Light Yagami was supposed to be a genius who did not think along the same lines as others. That is why he didn’t have a panic attack, scream, or run for his life upon meeting Ryuk and even anticipated it. However, Light Turner from Death Note (2017) was comedic with his twelve-year-old, childish screams. When L showed up at Light’s house the first two minutes were calm until L burst into frustration and confronted Light about being Kira. The addition of Mia Sutton as the replacement for Misa Amane helped the story move forward but her presence was unnecessarily forceful. In a way, Mia was Kira’s sidekick but nothing like her manga character design. The character Mia was manipulative and power-hungry when it came to the Death Note. Originally, Misa Amane was a childish and a charming Japanese idol but also bratty and whiny when it came to getting Light’s affection.
On the bright side, this Death Note’s Ryuk remained completely neutral by sitting in for the shits and giggles and informing Light about the Death Note when appropriate. The CGI for Ryuk made him creepy and the choice of voice actor was spot on. Death Note (2017) could have been better but squeezing a 37-episode anime and 108-chapter manga that is supposed to have a plot spanning over six years into a one hour and forty minute movie must’ve been difficult. Overall, Death Note (2017) was decent for its hour and forty-minute run but I can’t bring myself to acknowledge it as a good Death Note movie.