Customer Review

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just misses what made the anime great, 2 Aug 2008
This review is from: Death Note - The Movie (2 Disc Limited Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
Now like everyone who has written a review on this page I am a big fan of deathnote, I really enjoyed the anime, I thought that it had some very big ideas, themes and some great direction that set it apart from most anime that have been released in the last few years.

So like most people I was looking forward to the movie adaptation with anticipation and to be honest it does deliver what most people I think would expect from a movie based on the DN material, but there are a few things that really detract from the movie when you compare it to its anime cousin.

I felt that the direction lacked any real drama at times, for example when light writes in the DN in the anime, it seems feverish and the camera angles are very dramatic with lights hands violently moving across the pages of the DN almost tearing the names into the paper with his brand of justice, and yet in the film yes the camera angles do suggest some drama with close ups on the pen and lights hand writing on the paper and then cutting to the person whose name it is dieing but to me it seems to lack the ferocity and the power that the anime had.

Also the deaths of the criminals in the film are less dramatic with a small lets say force bubble rippling the screen and then they fall to the floor making at times quite silly grimaces and gestures (in the prologue it is almost funny rather than disturbing or shocking), whereas the anime was more drawn out and made you really feel that the heart attacks were striking down the criminals with an awful justice.

I must also say that the use of "dani california" by the "red hot chilli peppers" as part of the sound track to the film was a really bad decision, it just doesnt fit the DN universe in any way, it almost feels absurd when paired with the DN subject matter, I think something like "avenged sevenfold" would have been more apt in the DN universe,
but hey thats just me.

One final flaw is that I found the CGI of the Shimigami ryuk too simple, yes he very much looked and acted like his anime conterpart, but he didnt seem to have any texture on his face or clothing, which seemed to make him stand out like a sore thumb(also he flaps his wings whereas in the anime he merely extends them and glides, rarely using any motion to propel himself).

But to be honest these points are just my own personal gripes with a film that in essence is a perfect adaptation and addition to the DN cannon, but if these werent present i would have added another star like most other people.

The film basically plays exactly like a live action version of the anime, with only a few changes to the story which may surprise anime fans as one of them (the inclusion of lights girl friend)causes the plot to differ quite considerably from the anime at one key juncture,but really if you have seen the anime its pretty much the same.

I was realy pleased when I first watched it as the actors playing main parts are instantly recogniseable as their anime conterparts and this really makes you think you are once again in the DN world that you loved so much in the anime, the casting really is one part of the film that the crew got spot on.

The actual release of the film (2disk) is very good quality, the fact that the dvds are packaged in your very own DN!, with your own set of instructions and a few pages to write your own JUSTICE!, there was one downside I found tothe packaging and that was the fact that the dvd's dont fit properly under the clips supposed to hold them in place, on my copy one disk fits fine underneath on the bottom clips but the clips and rest for the dvd on top are not shaped well enough which means the dvd is hard to clip into place, and it actually damages the disk if you try to put it in properly, again another small gripe with a very good product.

To be honest it is a good film in its own right but It just doesnt pack the same punch as the anime,I felt a little dissapointed but im sure that im only one of a few who will actually say this is anything but great.

One more little gripe is that If you havent seen the anime and you are going to make this your first dip into the DN world then please reconsider as in my opinion the film is a little too incoherent at times and you have to have seen the anime to fill in some of the gaps.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Jan 2009 15:42:57 GMT
Jason C-Y says:
I agree with most of the points, though should point out that the parts where the criminals die and Light writes, are a lot easier to do with the anime; as it's drawn whereas an actor would have a difficult time pulling it off without seeming comical.

Dani California most certainly did not fit in with DN, I agree 100% there.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Apr 2009 23:39:04 BDT
In regards to the part said about if it is your first dip into DN start with the anime , i watched the movie first and really liked it and i look forward to watching the anime
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