Why Not To Watch The Netflix 2017 Film Adaptation of Death Note

Why Not to Watch the Netflix 2017 Film Adaptation of Death Note

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The Death Note story is based on the manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Ohba. It is a widely popular series which went on to become an anime, a drama and also had several live action Japanese films. This 2017 Death Note film, a ‘Netflix Original Film’, has failed to capture the true likeness of the original story, from bad casting and badly adapted writing of the original outline and execution of storytelling. The internet is currently roasting this new film and I don’t blame them! (If you are not familiar with Death Note, there are some storyline spoilers ahead)

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Light Yagami is a handsome and articulated genius who develops a literal god complex after he comes into possession of Ryuk’s (a Shinigami Death God) Death Note Book. He goes on to become the fearful Kira who punishes those stained and tainted by evil deeds by penning their names into the death note, which has a purposeful set of rules but also kills whoever's name is written in it.

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While his purpose might have been well intended early on, Light soon becomes corrupted by his desire to be a God of the ‘New World’

From manga, to the anime adaptation and then the Japanese Live Action films, the Death Note story could be described as a fan favourite worldwide. So why mess with a good thing?

Well seeking to latch onto a fan base that has mass appeal, but perhaps not fully understanding those fans might have been a first mistake with this production with this adaptation. Secondly, the story diverts greatly from the original, leaving out many key characters who lived and died in the series that built the momentum of Kira and the psychological battle between Light vs L. This is not what you will find in this film.

It appears in this rendition that Ryuk encourages Light ‘Turner’ played by Nat Wolff to use the Death Note. Whereas in the original, Light Yagami examined it by his on curiosity before taking the official Death Note Plunge into becoming Kira! We lose Light to a dumbed down characterization, who is paid to do the homework of other students.

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In this story Light has lost his mother (the original story, Light has a mom and sister) and tries to separate his work as Kira from his family. The back story in this film falls apart and thus bears nothing of the essence and presence of the original Light Yagami who was immaculate and meticulous; this Light Turner is disheveled, sloppy and is not the methodical, calculating skeptic who thinks 10 steps ahead.

L, while various ethnic portrayals are fine from cosplays to this film. Somehow this L played by Lakeith Stanfield failed to deliver the quirky, genius with that lovable and unorthodox personality.

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Despite the brief sweet tooth cravings that were implied in this rendition, fans of the original really hold L dear and are not buying into this one! What do we miss about L, that unkempt hair, slouchy clothes and outside of the box cleverness. Fans are used to seeing an L who absorbs every little detail surrounding him and strategically puts everything together like a puzzle!

Ryuk, might have been the only one to remain unscathed by a poor portrayal, who better than William Dafoe (Spider-man’s Green Goblin) to voice Ryuk in this feature.

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(Ryuk from Anime, to live action to the 2017 version)

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Brian Drummond voiced Ryuk in the English Dub and brought Ryuk to life for North American Audiences in the anime series for those who did not watch the original Japanese with subs. While Nakamura Shido voiced Ryuk in the Japanese Anime and for many is the only Ryuk. Jun Fukushima provided the voice of Ryuk in a live action adaptation.  

Do you think this Death Note missed the mark? Fans are certainly speaking their mind on it, but for me it was a sad attempt at trying to do justice to something that is already great!

Review Rating: 0/10
Time to stick an apple in it, it's done!

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What would the actual Light Yagami think of this mess? XD

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Check out the trailer for it here:


What are your thoughts on the new Death Note film?

Did you like it? Or hate it?

Comments (62)

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  • Reply
    Neyjour 13 days ago

    I’ve seen a LOT of remakes/adaptations in my life. Some have been disappointing, some were enjoyable despite the differences from the original/source material, and occassionally I’ve even enjoyed the remake/adaptation more than the original. But this one is, hands-down, the absolute worst I’ve ever seen.

    If you’ve never read the manga, seen the anime, or even seen the two original Japanese live action adaptations, you may find yourself enjoying this one. However, if you’ve seen one (or more) of the above, you’ll most likely be dissappointed, or even disgusted and angry.

    Death Note was my very first anime and still remains my top fave (with Fullmetal Alchemist as a close runner-up), and I was somewhat excited to hear about a new remake/adaptation… until I visited the IMDB page and saw how it was being ripped a new one, salted and burned, and stomped into oblivion. I was honestly a bit scared to watch it after reading those reviews, but finally decided that despite that, I’d try to give it a fair shake and just go into it knowing that there were going to be differences (a LOT of differences, apparently). But my god, “differences” just doesn’t cover it. It really hurt my heart to see how they completely butchered the story, characters, and the very essence of what made Death Note so wonderful, memorable, and much-loved.

    I honestly don’t know what they were thinking. But if their intentions were to piss off millions of fans world-wide, well… they succeeded in spades. And all I can say is, thank goodness I already had a subscription to Netflix, so it was essentially “free” for me (I didn’t have to pay extra to buy/rent), otherwise I probably would have walked away even more angry, disgusted, and disappointed than I already was.

    If you’ve never read/seen Death Note, please do yourself a favour and do NOT not start with this one. Read the manga, or watch the anime (or the Japanese live action adaptations) FIRST. I can honestly say that the hate for this film is not undeserved, and it would be a terrible shame for anyone to have this remake/adaptation (and I use those words very loosely) be their first impression of “Death Note”.

  • Reply
    ayacherry 13 days ago

    The trailer looks cool and promises some nice stuff, but that video comparison is just hilarious and makes me sad deep down in my soul.

  • Reply
    Dana1004 13 days ago - edited

    I am rare type of person, who actually enjoyed it.
    I enjoyed the fact that they did NOT copy manga nor previous movies and this article should be taken down. Just by the title it sorry but seems like a bash.
    If u wanna roast movie, i advice u to do it somewhere else, or at least be fair and voice sth positive about it. Cause EVERY movie has it's pro's and con's but here from top to bottom i read ''bad,bad,bad''

    • Reply
      pookiebear 12 days ago - edited

      i understand that there are a lot of negative views about the movie, but just like you have stated your opinion here, the people in the comments section have too and i'm sure they don't mean any offense towards yours and the other supporters feelings. just like that the author also doesn't mean any offense. they're also just stating their own opinion on this movie.

      this place was made to post our opinions; hate or love, and read others opinions and respect those.

  • Reply
    Antonin 13 days ago - edited

    Willem Dafoe is a great Ryuk, it's just the rest of the cast are bleh.

    Also why adapt it now? When the Death Note anime/manga saga has passed lol.

    • Reply
      Mareina 13 days ago

      There was another Japanese drama adaption two years ago and also a new spinoff less than a year ago, so it's not over yet :)

    • Reply
      HappySqueak 13 days ago

      yeah William was probably the best choice for a North American Voice Over for Ryuk for live action, he does a great job with Villains and dark characters.

  • Reply
    bojinator 13 days ago

    Don't do it. Any Western adaptations should stop. plz...lol they should stick to their lil hollywood business.

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