Death Note (Netflix) Movie Review

Death Note movie was released on Netflix today (25/08/2017), I have literally just finished the series and have a few things to say about the series as it’s currently fresh in my head. If you’ve yet to watch it, go ahead and do so or you can read this before as I’ll try to keep it relatively spoiler free.

Lets get right into it. Death Note movie from Netflix was a little disappointing. It felt like the movie itself is waiting for Death Note 2 to end the series and bring everything back into a nice little loop. This isn’t even the biggest problem the movie faces.

Lets start at the beginning when we’re introduced to Light and the book, there is very little context to the book and why Light would even take it. The movie also played Light as the geek or nerd who gets beat up by the bullies, and when he discovers the powers of the book, he somehow gains confidence to somehow date the “hottest” cheerleader in school.

I perfectly understand that this adaption of a Japanese movie is for an American audience, but I don’t get how fans of the original anime, manga, and previous movies are supposed to add this to their collective fandom of the overall series. The directors/producers tried to mix in too much with Light and Misa that they forgot the essence of what makes Death Note so good.

I recently read a tweet which mentioned “OG Light: Used the Death Note to create a new world order out of having god delusions” while “Netflix Light: Uses the Death Note to get laid” this tweet perfectly emulates why this person is so damn right. Light is supposed to be a smart person who directly and indirectly battles against L, none of which was seen here.

I should mention that I have yet to read the manga and properly watch the anime, so my opinions might not have much weight to them, but from my experience with anime’s and real life movies of them, I can tell that this was a bit of a fuck up on part with Netflix. You can trust them to pull out some original shows, but adaption just aren’t their thing.

Getting back to the review, what I initially liked about the Japanese movie was how it largely focused on the rules of the book and how the game is played. L and Light managed to pull out some really crazy tactics which only he could come up with because it involved some next level stuff. But this movie disregarded all of that and went with basic level killing, Ryuk would be so disappointed.

On the topic of Ryuk, I genuinely think that he was cast well, Willem Dafoe has to be the perfect western cast for Ryuk, his voice, face and everything in the middle is perfect for him. Although, I would have liked to get a clearer image of Ryuk in action, especially so we could see him a little more detailed. Nevertheless, Willem Dafoe couldn’t possibly save this sinking ship. On top of which, this movie should have not been a PG, rather I hoped they’d heat up the movie to 15 or even 18.

I really hope Netflix doesn’t throw more money at this show as I feel like they’ll just do it anyways. Rather, I wouldn’t mind for them to go back to the drawing boards and use the concept of a Death Note and create a whole new story surrounding it. Obviously following the rules of the Death Note, but this time we’ll see new characters and a new story. It would have been perfect it was done this from the start instead of following a classic they could never get up to.

I’d like to give Netflix’s Death Note a:

5.5 out of 10

Anyways, I’ve had my time to talk, what do you think about this series from Netflix? Have you seen the movie, if so go ahead and comment down below telling me and others what you think about Netflix’s Death Note.

There are 5 comments

  1. Karandi

    While you didn’t particularly like it as an adaptation, how is it as a movie on its own?
    Sorry, I’m trying to clarify my thoughts on it at the moment, and I agree with your thoughts that as an adaptation it is somewhat wanting.


    1. Sunite

      If I had never come across Death Note as a series ever before, and this was the first thing I’d be watching, then I guess I would find it to be a decent movie. But since I know the level of Death Note and how well the original works was, I can’t see myself liking this because of it. I’m feel like I’m hating the movie because of it being a adaption, but thinking about how Netflix adapted it and how it was done, I guess it was never for fans of the previous work, rather it is for people who may not know the series in it’s entirety.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. nickdunnaquatic

    Very good review Sunite. I personally did not enjoy this film. It strays way too much from the source material and it is too cliche for my liking. The only thing I like about the film is that Ryuk was portrayed immensely well by Wilem Dafoe. I just watched the Japanse version and you were right, it is it much better than this. Of course, looking at this film objectively, it is an okay film. The plot is fine, the dialogue is meh, and the characters are fine.


  3. ayrgalaxy

    I have to agree. Very disappointing. I never read the manga but I did watch the anime before and when I saw the trailer I was thinking it was going to be another disappointment. I did have high hopes and was excited to see it but I feel like…when they make live action films of anime, they tend to stray away from the plot and/or the characters to fit the audience likes.
    I enjoyed the anime and I thought it was well done. But, Netflix Light was a pussy and dumb. He let himself be manipulated by Ryuk rather than it being interested in the book through his own free will. Not to mention Mia, she manipulated Light and if I remember correctly, anime Light was the one manipulating. I do agree with whoever said that Netflix Light used the power of the death note to get laid which was one of the things I didn’t like.
    I had hoped that we would see how Light managed to stay ahead of L but the fact that he didn’t was truly disappointing.


  4. Death Note Anime Review | Daily Anime Art

    […] In the fall of 2006, Death Note released which quickly became one of the most popular anime of its time. With over 8.6/10 on My Anime List, it is definitely one to look into. The premise is very interesting as its debut brought forward a number of mediums including a Netflix exclusive movie, which I reviewed here. […]


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