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Death Note (2017)

TV-MA | | Adventure, Crime, Drama | 25 August 2017 (USA)
Trailer
2:18 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Adam Wingard

Writers:

Charley Parlapanides (screenplay by) (as Charles Parlapanides), Vlas Parlapanides (screenplay by) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
1,782 ( 237)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nat Wolff ... Light Turner
Lakeith Stanfield ... L
Margaret Qualley ... Mia Sutton
Shea Whigham ... James Turner
Willem Dafoe ... Ryuk (voice)
Jason Liles ... Ryuk
Paul Nakauchi ... Watari
Jack Ettlinger Jack Ettlinger ... Kenny Doyle
Matthew Kevin Anderson ... Agent Young
Chris Britton ... Peltz
Timothy Lambert Timothy Lambert ... Dr. Norman Ludlam
Kwesi Ameyaw ... Undercover Agent #1
Justin Stone ... Undercover Agent #2
Christian Sloan ... Agent Franks
Artin John ... 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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 August 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Death Note: Il quaderno della morte See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(at around 1h 10 mins) Light and Mia dance to Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" in the winter dance. See more »

Goofs

Mia wears a single silver band on the middle finger of one hand throughout the film. However it frequently changes from her left to her right depending on the scene. During prom night she ends up wearing it alternately on both hands, pointing to the fact that this is a continuity error. See more »

Quotes

Light Turner: It's like you said, sometimes you gotta choose the lesser of the two evils.
James Turner: So which one are you, son?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits features brief clips of outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage. 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 t-viktor212See 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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