Movies: Netflix’s Death Note

There could be spoilers here about Netflix’s stab at the popular manga/anime series, Death Note. I write these things via stream of consciousness so I don’t check for loose lips, only glaring errors. So, perhaps, SPOILER ALERT.

I’m not going to pretend I read the Death Note manga, nor have I seen the anime series, so my opinion is based on watching it without knowing anything about it.

In summary, without giving too much away, the main character, Light Turner, finds a way to dole out just deserts with the flick of a wrist–with horrific results.

I read a review calling it the “worst movie” the reviewer had ever seen, so needless to say, I was intrigued.

Now I’m sure we all know by now that for every binge-able most-watched Netflix series, there are like ten awful ones that you wish you could erase from your viewing history. I knew this had potential to be pretty bad, so I dove right in.

I pick movies apart for a living. Or, I live to pick movies apart, either way, I was waiting to do this and I missed my chance because I became interested in the movie. Willem Dafoe’s Ryuk is both frightening and funny–and Willem’s voice was made for this guy.

Nat Wolff’s Light Turner grew on me. At first, I didn’t think I’d be able to stomach his emo hair and his overall affect, but that grew on me quickly. Add in a deliciously evil Margaret Qualley as Mia Sutton/Kira, and you’ve got a pair of homicidal teens with hearts of gold.

It wasn’t something you write home about, but it was entertaining, a little bit scary, and very interesting–in no small part thanks to the ubiquitous Lakeith Stanfield who is the perfect eccentric super-detective with a troubled past and razor sharp instincts.

Now, I’m tempted to go watch the Death Note anime to see what the fanboys (I’m guessing the people who hate the Netflix rendering are fanboys, or fanpeople?) are talking about. It’s probably same old same old: “they left [insert character] out of the Netflix version! Burn their houses!” Or, “in the manga/anime, the detective character was white!” Yawn.

As a standalone quickie don’t think too much movie, it was perfect. Also, it kind of had a Heathers feel, and I love that movie, don’t you?

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