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Film Review: ‘Death Note: Light Up the New World’

7 March 2017 4:04 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Too many Grim Reapers spoil the wake in “Death Note: Light Up the New World” — an over-plotted, action-heavy reboot of the groundbreaking Japanese vigilante fantasy that makes murder as easy as jotting down someone’s name. Picking up 10 years after Shusuke Kaneto’s two-part Asian hit, the new installment helmed by Shinsuke Sato tries to multiply the fun by unleashing three shinigami (“Gods of Death”) and six Death Notes on the world. Lacking the scintillating mind games that made the original so watchable, the film is at best a broad action-thriller. Despite good pre-sales in Asia, the movie has yet to bow Stateside but may serve as a warm-up to Adam Wingard’s remake of Kaneto’s superior version.

A 2003 manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takashi Obata, “Death Note” centers on Light Yagami, alias Kira, who decides to “cleanse the world of crime” after receiving a »

- Maggie Lee

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