RRF: Death Note Netflix Movie (2017)

RoseRedFlower
Well, I watched the Death Note that has been getting some controversy because a black guy is playing L. Little do you know that L being played by a black guy is the least of our worries. I honestly thought Death Note wouldn't continue after the Netflix Series with Kento Yamazaki and Masataka Kubota. Then I saw that America was going to make another Death Note movie. I rolled my eyes initially because it looked like another cheap cash grab. We already have a good set of Death Note movies in 2006 but they were made in Japan. However, those movies were pretty good in my opinion. I won't spoil too much in case someone wants to review itself but I would recommend reading this first before you decide to watch it. Here's my thoughts on this Death Note.
Story:
The story is pretty much like the original. Light Yagami oh sorry I mean Light Turner. Ergh...that name sounds stupid. Anyways Light finds the Death Note that was dropped by the shinigami Ryuk and he's going to kill all the criminals in the world. He eventually is known throughout the world as Kira. L eventually tries to pursue Kira and the cat and mouse game begins. Sounds promising, right?
HAHAHAHA! No...
The story suffers from terrible pacing. You know how Light in the manga and anime is cunning and reserves his Kira persona. The Light in this series isn't like that. First off all we get of him is being a normal student and then four minutes later, he's a psychopath. There's no buildup to him being Kira and how he eventually lets the Death Note drive him mad. He's always insane. Light is an essential element in Death Note. If Light and the pacing of the story messes up, than the story doesn't work.
The Characters:
Golly gosh the characters...as if changing their names from Light Turner wasn't bad, here comes Misa Amane oh I mean Mia Sutton. Yes, they changed her name to make it sound more American. I'm sorry but whenever I think of changing Japanese names to American names, the 4Kids Logo pops into my mind. Your movie shouldn't remind me of the horrors of a company that changed so much of anime source material. Especially coming from a company that changed rice balls to jelly filled donuts. Anyways, Light's main goal in Death Note was to rid the world of criminals because he has a god complex. He slowly loses his humanity to the power of the Death Note. In this movie however, he wants to kill all the criminals because he wants to impress a girl. He shows the Death Note to her because he wants to bang her.
It was in this moment....where I started to lose my faith in this series....
I've seen so many movies where the main character wants to impress a girl like I Am Number Four, Birth of the Dragon and even....oh god....Dragonball Evolution.
His motivation is soooo weak in this movie and Mia's goal is to use the Death Note for her own personal gain. While I didn't like how Misa Amane was such a tool for Light in the anime, at least it made some sense. He punished the people who murdered her parents. And her turning on Light wasn't a surprise at all. While I appreciate them trying to make Misa Amane less annoying they made her more of an unlikable bitch. She's more of a lunatic than Light is in this movie. I said it and I mean it! Mia is more crazy than Light! And it just doesn't work in this story!
L, well....he's average. I like how he behaves like L did. Like crouching in unnatural way and such but he seems to be angry throughout the movie. He's especially aggravated during the last third act of the movie. Keith Stanfield acted well but he wasn't given good direction in this movie.
The best part of this movie hands down was Ryuk. Sure, it sucks that Ryuk isn't featured much but he was genuinely eerie. I liked how they kept him in the shadows and built him up. Willem Dafoe did an excellent job. I do however think it was kind of stupid how Ryuk wasn't just a passive observer. He literally threatened Light if he didn't keep writing in the Death Note. Why does it matter so much to him? He can just erase Light's mind of the Death Note and take it back....I guess it's to put Light in his place but Light can't kill him. He'a Shinigami for crying out loud!
The Music:
I liked the music in Death Note. It has great songs and a great OST. This music however....it's 80's soft rock. Yeah, it didn't match the movie.
Final Thoughts:
Wow, an anime movie adaptation that ended up badly! Well I guess I can add another one onto my list of worst anime adaptations. You know it's not very good when your 'criminal mastermind' turns out to be a moron. Showing the Death Note to the girl he likes within the first few minutes of the movie, killing people who he's come into contact with (even though Light in the manga tried to avoid that) and was literally a sissy as the story progressed.
The problem with American adaption of anime is that they stray far away from the source material at a point where it's unrecognizable. I think the filmmakers should find a balance between them. Not too close to the source may where it looks ridiculous and not too far where it looks like a completely different thing.
It's hard but I've seen anime movies work well in the past. This just isn't one. I found the Ghost in The Shell Live Action Movie better than this. At least I was seeing elements of the original story and I felt some investment while watching. I was so scared of what this movie would become and I have to say I'm ultimately disappointed.
I read an interview about Willem Dafoe on the Death Note Movie and he said something you should know.
IGN: Now, we're in largely uncharted territory in terms of Netflix making big budget films. But if they do make a sequel to Death Note, would you reprise your role?
Willem Dafoe: It's like anything. If the script was good, the director was good, yes. But I liked the character and if this [film] finds a good reception, I can. Clearly the story is not completed. It was like a pale version of the original, because I can see where this story could keep on going in many different directions.
First, don't make a sequel please.
And second he just admitted that the story was pale compared to the original. Do I even need too continue on?
Overall I recommend you either watch the Japanese 2006 movies if you want something that changes little things about the story but it's still pretty good. The actors are better, the story flowed pretty well and it didn't feel rushed like this movie.
Thanks for reading and I'll see you all soon!

Comments

I was LITERALLY debating on whether or not to watch the Netflix movie before I read this. And all I have to say is that I can't believe how they ruined my favorite anime! Name changing is one thing but it's another to make Light such a stupid horny teenager! - HoneyClover

40% on Rotten Tomatoes as I write this comment. Hollywood just doesn't know when it's time to stop with this trend of adapting anime into live-action adaptations. The worst part about this is that it seems they're still going to continue this route with even more anime that they'll adapt into live-action T.V. series or movies.

Including but not limited to:

Cowboy Bebop
Sword Art Online
Naruto
Bleach
and surprisingly, Attack on Titan. There's a lot more live-action adaptations in Japan made with the help of Warner Bros., but I think we got the point here.

As for that last item, what the heck, Warner Bros.?! What makes you think Hollywood adapting Attack on Titan into live-action will be any different than its underwhelming and poorly-produced live-action movies made in Japan?

Seriously, screw live-action adaptations of anime. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

I'm good, L isn't supposed to be black, not being racist but that is completely different than the L I remember and I probably wouldn't anyway since T.V. series based movies suck usually - EliHbk

I swear America needs to sit down and shut the f*ck up with these anime adaptions. If they're gonna make an adaption of anime, I don't see why it's so damn hard for them to just stick to the source material. - Mcgillacuddy

Yeah, the US can barley make cartoons... but anime adaptions!? Why!? - EliHbk

Good comment EliHbk. You brought up a good point about cartoon adaptations. Especially with the live action ones. - RoseRedFlower

I wanna find the guy who made this movie and write his name in the Death Note..oh wait...I don't want to touch something with Light Turner's germs on it - TwilightKitsune

Yeah... Light Turner... They just had to associate Kira with an average kid that no one understands... - ModernSpongeBobSucks

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