When I found out that there was going to be a live action remake of “Death Note”, I had mixed feelings. I had seen the anime series years ago and though I found it to be quite dark, it intrigued me. So an action remake was a nice way to relive those moments. Yet, seeing what they had turned “The Avatar – The last Airbender” into, I had my doubts about this remake as well, because in my opinion they butchered that movie.
Not sure whether or not to watch it
The question then became whether or not I would give the Netflix version of “Death Note” a chance. At first I didn’t want to watch it, because if it would be anything like The Last Airbender, that would totally be a disappointment. Another reason not to watch it was that I read that, just as I suspected, the live action remake wasn’t worth watching.
However, even though most warnings pointed to not watching the movie, my curiosity got the best of me. So I watched the movie anyway.
What did I think of it?
When the movie started, I thought, “Maybe I should stop it while I still have the chance and while I still have my good memories of the animated version.” I saw the cast and figured that it was a low budget film. Yet, I was surprised at how interesting the movie got. There were some things I did not recognize compared to the animated version, but it all fell into place.
The actors and the acting
I wasn’t fond of the lead actor (Nat Wolff), because – call me shallow if you must – the animated lead was better looking. Yet, I have to hand it to him, he’s a good actor. In the beginning, I wasn’t so sure of this, but when the tension started building, he portrayed the good-guy-turned-psychopath-in-order-to-keep-his-secret-hidden role awesomely. The female lead (Margaret Qualley) of the live action remake of “Death Note” did a splendid job as well. To be completely honest, I thought she had better acting skills than the male lead.
I, personally, don’t remember Light having a girlfriend in the animated version. It’s possible that I forgot about her, seeing as I saw the animated version about 10 years ago and I never re-watched it.
Anyway, back to the actors and the acting. At first, when I saw they made the infamous L a black guy, I was disappointed. Not because I have anything against black people, which would be dumb by the way because I’m part black as well, but because I remember L from the animated version of Death Note as a Japanese guy. The transition from an animated white/Asian character to a Caucasian guy, like they did with Light, was easier to process than the transition from an Asian guy to a Black guy. However, I was impressed with L’s (Lakeith Stanfield) performance as well.
On to Ryuk. When he made his first appearance in the 2017 version of Death Note,
I was impressed with the visual effects. He was dark and scary. However, when they later showed him in clear light, I was less impressed. His face just looked like crumpled paper mache in my opinion. So it’s a good thing they mostly kept him in the dark. When I was looking for the name of the actor who played Ryuk, I was surprised to see that 2 people portrayed this role.
One was the actor (Jason Liles) and the other the voice(Willem Dafoe).
Conclusion of Death Note 2017 vs Death Note 2006
In terms of effects, you may not necessarily enjoy the Death Note 2017 version. Yet, if you’re open minded, I think you can appreciate the acting and the story behind this live action remake. Just like with Avatar The Last Airbender, no newer version will compare to the original animated version, but in the case of Death Note I do think the live action remake is worth watching. The actors did their best and the story is nice, with interesting twists.