I’m a huge fan of the Manga series, books and anime of Death Note and I was incredibly weary to watch the adaptation, which is directed by Adam Wingard, which I’m not a big fan off but I give this a shot. This movie might just be the worst movie of the entire year. It’s by far the most disappointing so far and a complete pile of dogshit.
I’m not one to loose my shit when things aren’t exactly like the source material, but my god. There is barely anything here like the series. Of course, none of the actors here are Japanese, which took me out of the film almost immediately, since Death Note to me is a Japanese Manga. But whatever, I could have let that slide if the movie we got was actually good. Well guess what. It isn’t.
The movie is so condensed and short that you don’t even get any attachment to the characters, which are incredibly dull and unlikeable and neither seem intelligent or interesting. Light and L are extremely intelligent characters in the Manga and challenge each other in psychological mind games that would always put the reader on the edge of their seat. Here there is not one evidence that tells me that these two are geniuses. The script is extremely lousy and the story barely makes sense. In the manga, Light kills people the same way every time, by heart attacks, so it’s only natural that the police eventually figure that some kind of mystical force is behind this. In the movie he kills criminals ala Final Destination and every kills is so dumb and lazy that it just makes this movie frustrating to watch.
And what is Light’s motivation in this movie? He does all this, to impress a girl. That’s right. Mia. (In the Manga her name is Misa and she’s a goth and she also has her own Death note and Demon). Are you fucking kidding me? He does this for a girl? Really? Light Yagami (No, not fucking Turner) does this for a girl? Seriously Wingard? Have you fucking read the Manga?
And without spoiling anything, the ending is one of the worst endings to an adaptation I’ve ever seen. Not only it has nothing to do with the manga, but it’s anticlimactic and so Hollywoodize that it angered the shit out of me.
I don’t think a movie made me this mad since I watched Suicide Squad. There is nothing to like here except Ryuk. William Dafeo is great as the character but he is barely in it and Wingard lost a lot of what the character was. He’s just annoying in this film instead of being fascinating and the scene in which Light first sees Ryuk… horribly acted and nothing like the great introduction we got in the Manga.
The song choices are also incredibly awful. Not one song fits. It reminded me of Suicide Squad, where it was nothing but a music video. There’s a scene at the end, where this cheesy song plays during the climax and it was so out of left field I just started laughing.
Overall, Death Note is an atrocious film that has horrible action, terrible direction, awful editing, bad performances and a weak hero and villain that we’re great in their medium that created them but we’re completely butchered by Wingard. Guys, Adam Wingard fails. This entire movie fails.