Death Note (2017) Movie Review

Updated on August 28, 2017
Alec Zander profile image

Alec is a film critic with a true passion for the film industry & hopes his reviews and articles will help launch his career.

Okay Americans, give it to me straight. Why can't you seem to be able to adapt an anime or cartoon into film without completely screwing it up? Dragon Ball: Evolution, The Last Airbender, and now Death Note. This was a blatant insult and a disgrace to the original material. Just stop already, okay America? Just stop.

The film follows Light Turner, who is sent a notebook called the "Death Note". Soon, he gets caught up in the power of the book only to soon realize that every action has consequences.

Okay, so let me go ahead and give a spoiler warning right here because I can not hold in the massive amount of hate that I have for this sorry excuse for a film. To people that have not seen the anime, please do yourself a favor and watch the anime first. Save the worst for last.

The worst part of this film is the story. The main idea is the only thing that is carried over from the original material. The story in this film is cringingly different. First off, Light was not specifically sent the Death Note as this movie portrays. Ryuk, the Shinigami (death god) who originally owned the book, dropped it in the middle of the street for anyone to pick up. It was pure coincidence that Light found the book in the first place. Secondly, in this film, Light was freaked out and scared when he saw Ryuk. Not so in the anime. He was startled, sure, but he went on to say he expected Ryuk to show up. He even knew Ryuk was a Shinigami and was fascinated to meet one. Next, where's Light's sister? He originally had a sister and his parents were certainly not divorced. Another thing, the movie showed Light being careless and not keeping the Note hidden and when Mia (Misa in the anime) saw it, he flaunted it and bragged about what he was doing. That is completely backwards. In the original material, Light was a conniving genius. He was always a step ahead of L and the cops and in no way would have allowed himself to screw up so badly.

Next, let's look at Mia. Mia was pretty accurate except for the fact that, in the anime, she had a Note and a Shinigami of her own and also would have never in a thousand years betrayed Light as she does in the film.

Up next is L. L was pretty accurate except for the fact that he never got emotional, much less let his emotions get the best of him. He was a genius and manipulated Light as much as Light manipulated him. They played mind games with each other and never became irrational or idiotic.

Ryuk is the next and final character on the list. While Willem Dafoe did an astounding job voicing him, the character was written all wrong. His looks were also "creeped up" and inaccurate. The original featured Ryuk as a curious being who liked to observe Light's actions and study human behavior. He never talked Light into using the Note or tried to blackmail him into doing anything. Ryuk genuinely warned Light about the rules constantly and wanted him to be smart. But he also didn't interfere and let Light do what he wanted. This film makes Ryuk out to be this creature obsessed with death and relished it when a human died. It was insulting to Ryuk and Shinigamis in general.

The film also cut out major plot points and skipped important details. For instance, it cut out Light's first girlfriend entirely. She was a huge part of Light's life and a major influence on Light's development as a character. It also completely cut out Rem and Near and ignored many events that affected Light in major ways.

In conclusion, I was highly disappointed...no, outraged. Death Note is one of my favorite animes and to see it disrespected like this absolutely hurt. I give Willem Dafoe credit for his voicework but that is the only thing good about this film. I give it a 0.5 out of 4.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Alec Zander

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Alec Zander profile image
        Author

        Alec Zander 8 months ago from Sylva, NC

        Vanessa - I think the anime is on Netflix as well. Do yourself a favor and watch it first.

      • NessMovieReviews profile image

        Mother of Movies and Series Reviews 8 months ago from Moreton Bay, Queensland

        Oh no! I just reactivated my Netflix and saw the trailer to this last night and thought it looked awesome. Grrr Imma watch it though, Ive never seen the anime.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)