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Netflix's Death Note Live Action Movie Review

Netflix's Death Note Live Action Movie
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions in this review are my own.

I will always encourage everyone to form their own opinions, as I did my own by watching the film for myself. With that being said, I was already a huge fan of the Death Note series prior to this adaptation release.

I personally did not like the Netflix adaptation of this beloved anime/manga series. To me, it seems they tried too hard. For one, they took a show that was approximately 20 hours long and tried to condense everything down to only 140 minutes for a single movie.

L and Light's personalities are not there at all. The "battle of the minds" aspect was completely removed from the film. (Which was the entire draw to the show) as well as the struggle for control.



There are a lot of time-gaped holes in references to the "old Kira" from the Japanese anime series to the new "Kira" of America and time frames of events are blotchy if you catch the references between the two throughout the film.

It was supposed to be an Americanized reformed version, not a replication, however all they did was attempt to replicate it.

There is the unneeded antagonist Mia, who in my opinion acted more like the original Light than the character in this show did. Light is portrayed as a loser and is not very bright, everyone pretty much hates him in school, his father argues with him constantly with no regard to reconciliation between the two. L resorts to use of weapons, is very physically active, they tried but couldn't quite pinpoint his mannerisms appropriately, not to mention he isn't too bright either with how he handles the situations. I do not fault this to the actor however, as it seems he really grasped the character with what he could manage from the poor scripting.

Many times in the movie, Light screams in public that he is Kira and seems to have no issues letting people know that he is Kira.

Sex. Lots of heated moments because killing people is hot and sexy. Why not. While this might show the pure insanity of the entire situation that the Death Note brings, it fails to show the level and clear mindedness of Light.

You get to see Ryuk for MAYBE 5 minutes total throughout the movie and he is not the same Ryuk at all. The costume was awesome, the voice was there, the personality was there, but given only about 5 minutes of screen time ruined all of that. Not to mention the lack of consideration of the differences between the cultures of Japan and America - the story of the Shinnigami is not as relative and well known in the states, and should have been offered an explanation in the film but they pretty much dropped this monstrous creature in randomly without explanation. 




I genuinely enjoyed all of 2 minutes of the movie which was at the very end where they finally captured the true Kira/Light but only a split second of the true L and his thirst for justice.

I say all of this because like I mentioned above, it wasn't supposed to be a replication, but that is all they actually tried to do when you pay attention to the themes, names, characters, and plot line. 


I do not really need to touch on the "white-washing" that has been mentioned many times from others, as this part is understood to be part of the American revised version. Nor do I have any issues with L being an African American man. But the movie did leave the true static between the characters seemingly in the void, with the conflict not fully understood or the enjoyment of the chess game that they play.

I really wanted to attest these faults to simply being an adaptation of the series, however it seems all that was attempted was a fast and choppy condensed version of something that lasted for hours into a movie that was only 140 minutes. Had they have taken parts of the story and adapted it to the big screen, things may have been different. 

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