Death Note actually starts out with an alright premise and then practically races towards its conclusion. This ending is done in a way that wasn't satisfying and came out of thin air while attempting to make itself come across as cunning. I want to firstly mention that I have no connection to the source material this is adapted from and find this movie on its own to be rather dreadful. The basic premise is that this kid gets a random book that falls from the sky, can write a person's name within it and they die. This can be done with a precise manner to it for up to two days or the task can just be thrown to the monster which the Death Note book guides.
Light (Nat Wolff), a weird name for someone from Seattle is the lead and the one who controls the book. He's met with a love that's 100% cool with him being some crazy book killer named Mia (Margaret Qualley). The two go about killing people and eventually after mass amounts of murders which are apparently for the greater good, the police catch on. This should create a sense of panic or well a cat and mouse game since the police have this amazing detective, but it falls flat.
Instead of any sense of a true back and forth game, the story rushes through minor encounters. It essentially shows off both parties as unhinged instead of calculating which could have made an interesting sort of game. The story definitely got weird towards the end with some characters acting oddly crazy and that was disappointing.
I did however feel that Willem Dafoe shined as the voice of the creepy demon Ryuk. Narrative aside, it was actually well shot with some nice styled scenes and music that backed the action very well. I'm not sure I completely disliked the characters, but the acting was at times odd to not that great. It might have been the quick romance, or the weird betrayals that bothered me the most, but pacing was the biggest issue I had.
Death Note felt as though it wanted to run through the adaptive material as fast as possible while telling something cohesive. I don't have any connection to the original material, but it seems as though that could be interesting with the initial concepts that were displayed here.
I honestly feel that this could have been way better as a mini series so there could be some time taken with expanding the interesting aspects of this special book. Instead, everything blew by in a way that I felt parts of explanation were left behind. It was just an overload of ideas being thrown onto the screen at once and then the movie thinking it was clever towards the end.
Review for Death Note at Home with Streamed Viewing