You have to admit that this idea is intriguing. The idea that by simply writing someone’s name down in a book, means you can determine when and how they die. What could you do with that power? How could you help the whole world that way? This premise is behind Netflix’s newest original film “Death Note” based on the popular anime comic book. Such a great concept for a film, that just isn’t realized. But I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s start at the movie itself.
“Death Note” follows the story of Light Turner, played by popular new Young star Nat Wolff, who comes across a mysterious notebook. A demon named Ryuk, voiced amazingly by Willem David, teaches Light that writing a name in the notebook will cause that person to die in whatever manner is written about. Light and his girlfriend Mia, Margaret Qualley from podcast favorite “The Leftovers,” work together using the book to rid the world of criminals. This mysterious criminal killer is dividing the world, with some loving what he’s doing and others against the vigilantism. So in comes L to try and figure out the killers identity. L is played outstandingly by Lakeith Stanfield from “Get Out” and “Straight Outta Compton.”
Just writing this description is getting me excited again for the movie. But that’s where the problem comes in. So much potential was there but the newest Netflix film just wasn’t that good. The concept from the original comic is strong but just not executed well. With a few exceptions, the cast just wasn’t that great and seemed to not really be into the script. Stanfield as L was amazing and while he has already done big things, his star is just going to keep rising more and more. Dafoe as the voice of creepy demon Ryuk couldn’t have been more perfectly cast. His voice in general life is just demonic sounding. But the rest of the cast just seemed flat and uninterested. But I can’t blame them. The dialogue was pretty uninspired and just seems like it was thrown together. I feel Netflix may have gotten the property rights to “Death Note” and pushed this movie through faster than they should have. The death scenes I will give them are great to watch and done well, but that’s about it. I found myself checking my phone too many times during the movie because I was just getting bored.
“Death Note” should have scared but instead it just settled. Not worth your time unless you want to see how good Stanfield does with what he was given and that his future is bright.
2.5 notebook names out of 10