Of The Death Note Movie: A Review

Death Note Opening title

 Death Note Live Action Movie

Netflix recently released the Death Note Live Action Movie.

Death Note Opening title

It is an Americanised rendition somewhat based on the Japanese comic and anime series by the same name. You can find my review of the anime series here.

I saw the trailer for the movie whilst still watching the anime series and from that alone I could tell that, there would be changes, and I probably wouldn’t like them……. In exactly the way most movie adaptations are never quite like the books…… there’s always changes.

I watched the movie with a fairly open mind although I had braced myself for disappointment….. and here are my thoughts;

Warning: This may contain spoilers

Death Note is a pseudo-super anti-hero movie that follows the life of Light Turner. A teen who winds up with a notebook that causes anyone whose name is written in it to die…

Death Note rule one the human whose name is written in this note shall die
the human whose name is written in this note shall die

He cooks up a crazy plan (starting with an individual responsible for his mother’s death) to rid the world of people “who make life miserable, make like life dangerous“…..

When he asks his love interest if she thinks he is crazy

death note scene Do you think I am crazy
Do you think I am crazy?


and her classic reply is “…..you are not crazy enough…”

if anything I think you are not crazy enough
if anything I think you are not crazy enough

Predictably the authorities try to find and stop him, and they enlist the help of  mad genius consultant trained from age 6 to become a super detective….. I know we should suspend disbelief but …..

anyhoo moving on it becomes a cat and mouse chess game…..


The lines of good, evil and lesser evil are blurred crossed and recrossed, to a twisted conclusion that ends up in a cliff hanger that can only lead to one thing A SEQUEAL.

As a standalone movie, I think it’s a fairly decent thriller movie, with some disturbing splashes of gore as characters get offed rather graphically, makes me wonder what the age restriction is. If you haven’t watched the anime version you might even get to really like the movie although the plot races by super-fast as they try to develop a plot that’s explained in 37 anime episodes into one feature film, you might get lost here and there.

If like me, you watched and loved the anime…. The sheer incredulity of the makers of this movie makes you want to, write their names in a death note maybe not that extreme but still….

here’s a few changes I noted;

-The original series is based in Japan and the main character is called Light Yagami, in the movie they are in America and the lead character is called Light Turner but in both they use the pseudo name Kira as the killer’s alias. The movie was made a for different audience from the original but it still feels like a betrayal of the original Japanese anime and one can see how some communities would be outraged at it being “Americanized.”

–The back story to the quirky candy-loving genius consultant in the movie is a bit over the top and doesn’t get explained properly maybe that’s why a sequel is coming…… and he just didn’t quite pull off the quirks we had come to love and laugh at in the series…..

–The love interest, was completely new character Mia and her character is under developed, who is she? where is from? what’s her story?, why is she the way she is?……. I rather liked the original love interest Misa Amane and hated Light for the way he manipulated her emotions to get her to do what he wanted….

-They played around with so many of the rules and concepts of the death note and shinigami realm it was hard to keep track…… death note rules.png

They didn’t do the Shinigami eyes and Anyone who touches a death note should be able to see the Death Note God and they tried to make Ryuk a Shinigami death god who haunts whoever owns the death Note, seem like a super untrustworthy devious character who dare care much for Light and I didn’t care much for that…..

text in death note Don’t trust Ryuk he is not your pet he is not your friend’
‘Don’t trust Ryuk he is not your pet he is not your friend’

On a side note William Dafoe plays the strange being oh so well though……..

Ryuk is prononced ree-yook
It’s pronounced Ree-yook

That said if you haven’t watched it and asked me if you should watch it… yes or no

YES watch it……


PS have you watched it… would you watch it…. what are your thoughts?

Humans are interesting.jpg



All Images screen grabs courtesy of Netflix Channel


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