Death Note is worth watching if:
- You loved the anime and can accept this won’t be nearly as good.
- You’re too stubborn to ever watch the anime but think the concept is cool.
- You are okay with numerous plot holes.
Death Note is not worth watching if:
- You loved the anime and WILL get outraged by dumb differences.
- You expect it to have a compelling story.
- You will only ever watch 1 piece of Death Note content in your life.
- Has a handful of fun, subtle references to the original show.
- It’s amusing to watch certain actors evoke their anime counterparts.
- Is different enough from the original that you shouldn’t get too offended.
- The story tries to appear complex but is filled with plot holes.
- Does weird things story-wise to setup the now confirmed sequel.
- Nothing really interesting here besides the Death Note itself.
score: 55% CHILLIN
One sentence story summary:A demon’s notebook gives a teen the power to kill. He wants revenge on the bad guys, but the law thinks he’s one of them.
Whoever’s name is written in this book shall die.
This core concept from the original anime series, and now the Netflix Original Death Note movie, is so damn good that you could throw a bunch of crap on it and it would still smell nice. Which is exactly what Netflix has done here.
Obviously they’d never be able to fit the entire Death Note story into an hour and a half movie, but the story they cobbled together is pretty bad. The numerous changes from the source material are certainly questionable, but far less of a concern than the massive plot holes that exist behind some of the movie’s biggest moments.
The main issue is that the film goes out of its way to try and make it seem like it’s being super detail-oriented like the show was. Unlike the show, however, these details are often thrown aside to shove particular plot points through to the end.
The acting can be both pretty good and pretty comical. (If you liked Margaret Qualley in IO you should like her here.) It’s as if each actor was given a choice by director Adam Wingard as to whether they wanted to play it normal or go over the top anime.
It’s worth noting that his directing is another highlight that helps salvage the wonky script. Whenever there’s a pause in the dumb stuff, it almost feels as though you’re watching a good movie.
As long as you keep your expectations quite low, you can still have fun with this as a fan of the Death Note show. Watching people use the Death Note is just one of life’s joys that not even a terribly written script can destroy.
Death Note includes Netflix Regulars:
Margaret Qualley as Mia Sutton
Lakeith Stanfield as L
Shea Whigham as James Turner
Follow @FlixAndChillin on Twitter for any big news regarding Netflix’s Death Note 2.