Movie Review: Death Note (2017)

© Netflix, 2017.


“Light Turner, a bright student who stumbles across a mystical notebook that has the power to kill any person whose name he writes in it. Light decides to launch a secret crusade to rid the streets of criminals. Soon, the student-turned-vigilante finds himself pursued by a famous detective known only by the alias L.” (Source: Rotten Tomatoes)


Netflix has done a damn good job with its house produced movies and shows – except for Death Note. This movie is complete and utter trash. For those of you that don’t know, for several years I ran a site that focused largely on anime for several years. The site was called Project Otaku and served as a press outlet as well (I was able to attend Japan Expo as press and one of my writers attended NYCC). So naturally, I’ve seen the anime and I had high expectations.

First, it should be noted that with this film, Netflix joined the ranks of the Hollywood studios that have white-washed and bastardized several remakes of Asian horror films. From Oldboy to The Grudge to Ghost in the Shell (and countless others), it’s like these companies have an aversion to actually remaining faithful in any degree to the source material. (There’s rumors that my favorite Japanese horror flick, Audition, will soon fall prey to this too.) Honestly, they should just stop.

This version of Death Note takes place in Seattle, thus localizing it to the US.  There is also no second notebook, which in the anime and manga are used to misdirect law enforcement. Because there’s only one notebook, there’s no Shinigami Rem, either. There are plot holes out the wazoo in Netflix’s adaptation, including modification of rules for no apparent reason (such as the days the Death Note can be lost).

Overall, I regret watching this. It was a waste of my time.

Rating: 💀

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