I cannot say that I have a vast knowledge of Death Note. I have never read the manga. I watched half of the anime. I have seen all 3 of the Japanese movies. So, I do not claim to be an expert or even a big fan. I enjoyed what I have watched, but had not gone out to find more to engulf myself with. Add all of this with the fact that I am generally open to new adaptations, and I entered watching the new Netflix Death Note movie with what I would call cautious optimism. And I did try to keep that open mind for as long as I could. Unfortunately, it was not that long at all.
If you are thinking about making an adaptation, where you are changing the setting and tone, then do yourself a favor and change the characters as well. With this adaptation, the setting has been changed to Seattle. I do not quite know how to describe the change in tone. In what I have seen, it was always a serious, almost somber tone. This movie almost felt like they were going for camp, even gore early on. That may have worked, if they had used different characters. Spoilers ahead. (more…)