When Netflix first announced their adaptation of Death Note was in the works, fans immediately felt that their fan-favourite and classic anime will join the likes of Dragon Ball Z, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Ghost in the Shell, and Attack on Titan in the despicable live-adaptation category.
Although Netflix’s adaptation was meant to follow a different route and prove that Hollywood can actually make good-live action movies, that doesn’t seem to be the case as the early reviews for Death Note speak of how bad the movie is.
Cheesy, asinine, convoluted and ludicrous. On the plus side, if your eyeballs need a vigorous workout, this will have them rolling nonstop.
Indiewire represents the sector of people who feel like the Death Note movie isn’t so much bad, as it is rushed and truncated.
This reviewer brings up the inevitable talking point: would Death Note have been better as a miniseries?
Part of you will wish this had been a Netflix show instead of a Netflix movie – part of you will wish Netflix had left it alone altogether.
So far, one consensus about Death Note has been that despite all else wrong, casting Dafoe in the role was the right move. As IGN Movies points out:
Dafoe absolutely devours the role and chews the surrounding scenery, but he is so entertaining that he only enhances the film.
The reviewer from We Live Entertainment thinks that Willem Dafoe as Ryuk seals the deal for Death Note – and even sets the film up for a larger franchise to come.
Ryuk is the role Dafoe was born to play and I look forward to Ryuk messing with more well-meaning fools who get in over their heads in future movies.
Director Adam Wingard (You’re Next, Blair Witch) creates an offbeat horror-romance-comedy with the film, which follows a boy named Light Turner (Nat Wolff) who finds a mysterious book called The Death Note which grants him the power to kill anyone whose name he writes in it. When Light begins using the power for his own vigilante purposes, he attracts the attention of a methodical detective named “L” (Lakeith Stanfield).
The cast includes Paper Towns star Nat Wolff as Light; The Leftovers star Margaret Qualley as his love interest, Mia; Atlanta and Get Out star Lakeith Stanfield as “L”; Fargo‘s Shea Whigham as Light’s father; and Willem Dafoe as The Death Note’s “death god,” Ryuk.
Death Note will be available on Netflix on August 25