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Death Note

Director:  Adam Wingard
Year Released:  2017
Rating:  1.0

Spiked demon Ryuk (voiced by Willem Dafoe) drops the title book for gifted high school student Light Turner (Nat Wolff) to pick up, then explains to him that as long as you know someone's name and face you can write his/her name in it and they're done for - Light takes this newfound God-like ability too far, and he, along with his girlfriend Mia (Margaret Qualley) find themselves hunted down by equally brilliant detective L (Lakeith Stanfield). While the ethical quandary faced by Light as to how to "do the right thing" with such a power is still present, Wingard and his screenwriters drain the source material (it's based the manga by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata) of its strengths, changing the characters' attributes (Ryuk is treated as a villain) and taking away a lot of the cat-and-mouse games played by Light and L, focusing instead on the grotesque (Wingard traditionally makes horror movies). The 2006 anime version - which spans 37 episodes - is so well regarded, I have no idea how they thought they could compress it to a little over an hour and a half and think it would work ... but at least Dafoe's voice fits his bored, apple-craving prankster. So far, my beloved Cowboy Bebop is safe from this live-action nonsense....

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