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Death Note (2017)

TV-MA | | Adventure, Crime, Drama | 25 August 2017 (USA)
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A high school student named, Light Turner, discovers a mysterious notebook that has the power to kill anyone whose name is written within its pages and launches a secret crusade to rid the world of criminals.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
L
...
...
...
Ryuk (voice)
...
...
...
Kenny Doyle
...
Agent Young
...
Peltz
Timothy Lambert ...
Dr. Norman Ludlam
...
Undercover Agent #1
...
Undercover Agent #2
...
Agent Franks
...
Antony Skomal
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Storyline

Light Turner, a bright student, stumbles across a mystical notebook that has the power to kill any person whose name he writes in it. Light decides to launch a secret crusade to rid the streets of criminals. Soon, the student-turned-vigilante finds himself pursued by a famous detective known only by the alias L. Written by Warner Bros. Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

25 August 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Death Note: Il quaderno della morte  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Before Detective James Turner meets L in person, he interacts with him first on a computer screen interface which is simply the letter L. This is an homage to the anime where L as a character is not physically seen in person for several episodes and until then, is only seen as a disembodied voice on a computer screen interface with just the letter L. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film as Light Turner is running towards the Seattle Great Wheel (or Ferris Wheel as they call it) there are city lights and skyscrapers across the water. The Seattle Great Wheel sits on a pier. From the angle of the shot the camera would be facing out into Puget Sound - and away from the Seattle skyline. See more »

Quotes

Light Turner: Look at those people.
Mia Sutton: They're a bunch of sheep.
Light Turner: No, they're not. They're looking for someone who's not gonna let them down the ways cops do and politicians.
Mia Sutton: And that's why they have you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits features brief clips of outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage. See more »

Connections

Features Phantasm (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Take My Breath Away
Written by Giorgio Moroder, Tom Whitlock
Performed by Berlin
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
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User Reviews

 
A clumsy and thoughtless adaptation with a few highlights
25 August 2017 | by See all my reviews

I'm often on the defending party for films. I notice that many reviewers seem to complain much about any movie is released. That was the case with Alien: covenant, for example. That movie was far superior to this one.

Prior to the film, I watched in about three days the entire Death Note series. Because I really just got into it and don't plan on watching the anime again soon, I don't consider myself a fan (never watched animes before, by the way), but I reckon it was a very clever series. At times it had its cheesiness, but still worked pretty well.

When the source material is well written, I don't think that departing from it is the right choice. The Martian proved that, for instance. Changching the plot should be always for the benefit of it, and not to overly simplify the story and to take out some of it core aspects.

Death Note's film adaptation chose this second route. I have the feeling that they didn't understand at all what was the series about. The anime mostly focused on L and Light's intellectual fight, battles of tricks and making one and another be unsure about what his intentions are. Ryuk (who I thought would be a practical effect and not CGI, as instead it sadly proved to be) had more importance. Truth is, this movie had also a very low runtime in order to cover up the plot well, it might have needed an extra 40 minutes (so a 2h 30m film), but it would have needed an entirely different plot.

Instead, when the movie finished, it turned out to be just a rushed sequence of events, most of which seemed incoherent if seen next to the anime, which was a very clever story. Ultimately, the film settles for a needless and overly bloody gore feast. The speed of this film is so fast paced that, by when I arrived to the 1 hour mark, I could not believe that we had forty minutes left. And I came to realise that nothing that happened felt relevant to the whole storyline. Death note should have been adapted in a slightly slower paced film, and had minimal gore (most of people died by heart attack). That wouldn't mean that it had to be necessarily a boring film, or a non-R rated one. The themes of moral ambiguity and killing powers make it anyways a very dark story to tell.

The only positive note I could find in all of this is that sometimes both L and Light's actor delivered scenes which made me suggest that they where up to the roles, if the original anime was to be followed. L sometimes used the anime character's same line delivery, Light seemed capable of behaving as a bloodthirsty, dark and evil character. Sadly, the movie didn't allow the actors to perform their characters rightfully. Williem Dafoe's voice sounded exactly like the original Ryuk's. That said, Ryuk appeared for about 4 minutes, so there wasn't much there.

Ultimately, this is the perfect example on how an adaptation of a good source material can simply suck. I recall only Eragon being such an unfaithful, unrightful and almost offensive adaptation to a very clever and deep story.


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