“Death Note” review


  The idea of a notebook that can cause the death of whoever is written was brought into being many years ago, but, as with many other animated pieces, it was turned into a fail of a live action movie. “Death Note” was originally an anime released on Oct. 3, 2006, but a recent live action release has changed what people thought of the series as a whole.

  The plot of the movie is fairly simple, with the main protagonist, Light Turner, finding a book that can cause the death of anyone that is written in it. Of course, with this type of power, anyone would go mad with the book. Light begins to take justice in his own hands and kills as many criminals as he could in a very short time period, but he is soon pursued by a famous detective known only by the alias L.

“Death Note” movie poster. Photo courtesy of IMDb.com

  Now, it is only common knowledge that directors have the physical need to turn a decent anime or cartoon show into a pile of garbage. “Avatar: the Last Airbender” and “Dragonball: Evolution” are examples of this. Now, we know many Disney movies that have been remade to be live action. “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Jungle Book”, “Cinderella”, and “Alice in Wonderland” are some examples of this. Some may argue they did not turn out half bad, but the real question is, were the remakes really necessary?

  In this case, it should have not even been attempted, especially as it did not really do anything original. It did seem to stray far from its original source: the anime. The differences were astounding, to the point that makes it seem like they are two different things entirely.

  An example of this are Light’s actions throughout the movie. In the anime, Light Yagami could easily be seen as intelligent, as he has the highest grades, studies all night, scores very high on state test, et cetera. This was his main disguise, as no one would suspect an extremely smart high schooler as a mass serial killer. Light Turner, on the other hand, is a near exact opposite of Yagami. The only time we can see his intelligent side is when he is selling homework to other students(which does not strike me as someone with a high intellect). This does the exact opposite of what Yagami has done, as a student who is frequently in trouble seems more likely to be suspected of the crime than a perfect student.

  Other characters in the show were changed later in the movie. L, for example, is a major part of the movie as he is the antagonist, but the anime and movie had different ideas for L. Now for the actor choice, Lakeith Stanfield, it did not make any difference. However, both L and Light were way too emotional, as in the show both are often cold. Light is just a straight up sociopath, using others and playing with emotions for his own benefit. In the movie, both are way more choked up with emotion. Then many characters never even showed up, and others just straight up died. Light’s mother was alive in the show, but the movie killed her off, just to give some kind of reason for Light’s actions.

  What many fans were mad about was not just what the end product was, but what it so clearly tried to be. This is not the first live-action Death Note movie, but instead the sixth. The first movie, titled “Death Note”, was released on the 17th of June in 2006 and got a 7.9/10 on IMDb.com. “Death Note 2: The Last Name”, “Death Note: L Change the World”, Death Note: New Generation”, and “Death Note: Light Up the New World” are the other movies. Nevertheless, it is very hard to cram all of the show in one movie, so the story would have to be cut to fit. Still, ending with a cliffhanger showing they want a sequel, is just bad in general.

  Now what did the movie actually do well? Personally, I think the movie had pretty good camera work and some effects. Gore by itself does not add any value to a movie because just making someone die a grotesque death does not make the movie have any more meaning to it. Still, the movie chose a good voice actor for Ryuk, the Shinigami, by Willem Dafoe.

  Overall, I would not recommend this movie to most people, as the general movie is a flunk. The movie tried to be a horror movie, but it was more of a comedy. I would definitely stay away if you have seen the show, for this movie will not be for you. In the end, I would give this movie ⅖ stars, for it may have had some good points in the actual filming, but the script and plot holes outweigh them.

Jordan Rust, Print Design Editor