I mean, it tried? That’s what counts right?

Death Note holds a special place in many a person’s hearts. It was a staple anime for any newcomer to the scene. It portrayed a regular person, turned dictator almost, through one simple power. Being able to make anyone you know die, by just writing their name in a book.

The death note is a book, used by Japanese gods of death known as Shinigami. These gods control when and how people die. So when it is your time to die, they write your name and bam. You dead. But, one such Shinigami decided he was bored one day, and ‘dropped’ his notebook accidentally, only to fall into the hands of one Light Turner, who was previously called Light Yagami, but this version is set in the USA.

They got the character design for Ryuk down to a T though, so props to them for that at least.

Upon getting the note he meets with the original owner, Ryuk. A tall, skinny looking monster, who really loves apples. He tells Light what this book does and how it can be used. But not before Light has a hissy fit and screams bloody murder. While his reaction is initially funny, it eventually just comes off as cringey.

Light’s story is different this time too. Instead of being a top of the class student like he was in the original show, he’s a kid with an ‘attitude’, after his mother was tragically killed. Thus we have our characters motivation for wanting to use the death note to rid the world of criminals.

The lack of tension and build up turned the movie into a bomb of angst, swearing and lacklustre pacing.

Which, again makes sense from a film perspective. It condenses the story, but in doing so it loses the tension between the characters. The whole point of the anime was this slow build to one giant conclusion. The escalation and the way the characters unfurl is awesome. But you don’t get that with the movie.

Not to mention, the fact that they made Light’s girlfriend, renamed Mia from ‘Misa’, is essentially the antagonist. She betrays Light, trying to steal the note from him in a weird plot twist that we saw coming from minute one.

A crying shame this turned out to be bad.

Also, the way they handled on of my favourite characters was handled put a thorn in my side.

L, yes that is his name, in the TV show, was calm, weird and calculated. The L we see in the movie is…so far from that, it’s difficult to remove yourself from it. It’s a chore to have to approach the movie with a fresh mindset when they essentially butchered every single character and their motivations.

Not worth watching if I’m honest, even if Willem Dafoe played a decent Ryuk.

2/5