I’ve never been so utterly let down by Netflix. Even their shows/movies I don’t love I think are usually pretty okay overall but this was just trash. Before watching the movie last night I had no idea what I was getting into. I had seen it pop up on Rotten Tomatoes and had seen people bashing it on twitter but I thought those were exaggerating. I mean I didn’t think Batman vs Superman was nearly as bad as the internet made it seem so how bad could this be? Oh boy was I in for a treat/punishment.
If you haven’t heard of it the premise is that a high school kid, Light Turner, in Seattle is given a book, the Death Note, but a god of death that lets him kill anyone in the world as long as he writes their name in it and thinks of their face when he does so. Also he uses the book to seduce the popular girl in school. No that’s not a second ability it has – she just is super turned on by killing people around the world. Also they’re being hunted by both Light’s dad who is a cop and some weird super FBI detective who only eats candy and doesn’t know how to sit in chairs. No that’s not some weird metaphor I think it’s supposed to be a character quirk?
Now writing that out I think the movie could have actually been pretty interesting. You just have to play it like a campy movie similar in tone to Cabin in the Woods but from what I can tell the director, Adam Wingard, had no idea how adapt the story and just decided to make it somehow both as bland and as weird as possible. As I mentioned before the story follows Light Turner, as he decides to kill criminals from every country and bang his psycho girlfriend in an effort to make the world a better place. The only problem is he’s a bit of a pussy. He’s a stereotypical moody, edgy, loner teenager that hasn’t felt like a fresh character since Donnie Darko. Here he is meeting the death god, Ryuk:
If the whole movie was a schlocky as this I could actually enjoy it but it’s not. This is the one scene like this, the rest of it is played completely straight. I will give this to the movie though – they nailed the casting of the death god by getting William Dafoe. I don’t think he even needed make up you could have just had him being himself and it would have worked. The man was born to play that part.