Writer: Charley Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides, Jeremy Slater (Screenplay) Tgugumi Oba, Takeshi Obata (Original Material)
Starring: Nat Wolff, Lakeith Stanfield, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, Shea Whigham, Masi Oka, Jason Liles
Plot: 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.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Deliciously Dark Fantasy
Story: Death Note starts as genius student Light Turner (Wolff) has a mysterious book title Death Note fall from the sky before getting busted for doing fellow students homework landing him in detention, here Light gets a visit from Ryuk (Liles, but voiced by Dafoe) who teaches him about the book, which offers him a chance to simply write the name of a person and a way to die with the rest being history.
Teaming up with Mia (Qualley) a student from school, Light decides to use this power for the good by killing terrorists and getting criminals to hand themselves in, but with this new world starting Light’s father James (Whigham) must investigate the mysterious ‘Kira’ figure influencing the decisions and the mysterious detective L (Stanfield) who believes he knows how to track the killer.
Thoughts on Death Note
Characters – Light Turner is a high school student that stays in the shadows at school, making deals for money in exchange for doing homework, but when he gets the Death Note, he gets the chance to become somebody, he uses the book to try and make a difference but soon learns the effects that this could have on his life and the world. L is the detective that has been hunting the Kira killer, he has an ability to solve crimes and has been trained to be one of the greatest detectives of all time, he knows who is behind it all but needs to find a way to prove it. Ryuk is the God of death that is attached to the book, he does the bidding for the owner of the book, while also trying to get him to put more names in the book. Mia is the love interest of Light that has the relationship because of the interest in the power of the book.
Performance – Nat Wolff does do a good job in the leading role being the teenager that looks out of place in the lonely keep to himself idea. Lakeith Stanfield is the highlight of the film because he does always come off with something different about his character. Margaret Qualley is the good supporting girlfriend character that does well through the film. Willem Dafoe lends his voice to the God which sounds perfectly menacing about him.
Story – The story focuses on the idea of one kid getting a book that could simply write a name in and the person will die. Now I do understand this has come from a manga of the same name which does put elements to discuss into a fantasy element, which is good for the idea, the story flows nicely with the moral question being asked, what would you do if you had the book? Saying this the film does try to ask that question between the characters but in the end glosses over it at times and does miss out a chance to learn a lot more about L who by far is the most interesting character in the film. This is a story that could be enjoyed by the fantasy horror fans out there and is one I do think could be recommended to the known horror fans too.
Fantasy/Horror – The fantasy behind this film comes from the demon Ryuk using his powers to complete the deaths, the horror is working with the fantasy and is used with the idea of the blood splattered deaths.
Settings – The settings are used for iconic moments in the film without being all about the settings rather than the characters finding themselves in.
Scene of the Movie – The first note, because it shows us what we are going to be getting through the film.
Final Thoughts – This is an enjoyable fantasy horror that comes from a manga which I can see could turn people off but as I have never seen it, I can say this is enjoyable throughout.
Overall: Enjoyable fantasy horror.