Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Death Note (2017) - Richee Review

Well, Netflix have only got and made a live action film of a hugely popular anime. How could that be a bad idea, eh? It's worked so many times before. So before I get started, I feel I have to state I've only seen a handful of the anime show, for some reason or another I just couldn't get into it, so I went into this film aware of the idea but none of the ins-and-outs.

Death Note follows Light, a smart student who happens to find a strange book called, you guessed it, the Death Note. He is bemused at the lack of punishment for those who have done wrong, spurred on by a bully who recently left him floored, only for Light to be punished when he is found to have other students home work on him, which he was getting paid to write, with the bully getting away with beating up Light. During detention he takes a look at the Death Note, and reads a few of the rules, he is suddenly approached by Ryuk, a Death God, who asks him to try out the Death Note on said bully. After the bully is killed the way Light wrote down, Light decides to rid the world of all criminals and wicked people.

Taking on the name Kira, Light becomes the self proclaimed God of Justice. He shows off the Death Note to Mia, a cheerleader who Light has a crush on, and the two join forces to find those who need to be punished. But you can't kill hundreds of people and go unnoticed, as the FBI recruit a famous detective named L to locate Kira and put his reign of terror to an end, bringing in James Turner, the only cop who thinks what Kira is doing is wrong and also Light's father.
This film has clocked a lot of flack from fans of the original anime. After watching the film I went back and watched the first five episodes and was amazed at how much had changed: Light's mother isn't killed in the anime; Light has a sister; there is no Mia. and Light himself is a lot more unforgiving in the show, trying to kill L when he finds out he is coming after him. This is why Mia is in the show, to make Light more likeable, as he refuses to kill those who aren't wicked.

I love the story of Death Note, giving one person so much power and seeing what they do with it. I found Nat Wolff as Light enjoyable, especially his screaming when he first meets Ryuk, but I had no problem with him. Willem Dafoe, shock horror, is awesome as Ryuk, and is similar to the anime series. Margaret Qualley as Mia was good as Light's love interest and the as the kind of antagonist. Lakeith Stanfield is excellent as L, the oddball master detective with no name who is hunting Kira.
The effects were nice and gory seeing a man explode when getting hit by a swat truck was pretty cool. The story is predictable in places and you question certain choices characters make, but I wouldn't say there is anything overly stupid. The finale with Light and Mia is a little far fetched. but then I thought how the film ended was great. I think if you've not seen the original show you'll enjoy this more, but that goes with most shows that are remade. I think this was a well made film that took the premise of the show and went it's own way with the story.

As it was a story I'm unfamiliar with I didn't mind it. I'm now going through the original show though to see what's what. Final verdict is a 7/10: I thought this was a good film and they had to squeeze a lot into an hour and a half. I would have enjoyed more about Ryuk, as I felt a little was said about the Death God. Apparently there maybe a sequel to come as well, which I'm looking forward to after the ending. But what did you guys think? I'd like to see what some one else unfamiliar with the anime thinks, so let me know in the comments below. Richee

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