Well then, welcome to my Death Note Review as I continue to work on the rest of the comic.
So yeah, first thing you notice about Death Note, outside that it is distinctly American, is that Nat Wolff looks very odd. Almost like he’s a body double reject for Billie Joe Armstrong. I’m unsure if the emo-kid look was the right touch for Light as when compared to his manga counter-part he was a little happier. Also missing was that family connection. That Light and his father are at odds rather than Light taking on a twisted sense of his fathers teachings of what true justice is.
Willem Dafoe delivers an excellent performance as RYUK, although his time on screen isn’t as long as I would have liked. The movie goes fairly quick and dumps a bunch of information at you. Though I wished that the film would slow itself down instead of a tiny death-montage where if you’re not paying full attention to the film can catch you off guard.
The appeal of Death Note for me, was always the Cat-and-mouse game played by Light (Kira) and L. However if you’re looking for that, its missing here.
Lakeith Stanfield’s L comes off whimsical, childish and unhinged. Much unlike the L I remembered from reading the manga and watching the original Japanese films years ago. He reveals himself too early and quickly comes to grand conclusions without the necessary bread crumbs. While I suppose this works in the context of the film, it just seems to happen all to quickly.
There’s also the character of Mia, who is Light’s girlfriend, who quickly become infatuated with the powers they both wield as Kira. Not completely stable mentally, you can see her betrayal coming a mile away.
Its not until you reach the end of the film itself that you finally start to see the genius part of light come out. The part of Light that made him enjoyable to watch in his appearances in other medium was seen here too late and too rushed. Even when L FINALLY figures out the final bait and switch it comes very little, too late.
If you haven’t seen or read any of the older medium then this may be enjoyable for you. But for those of us that have been fans of Death Note for Ages… this is a hard pass.