Death Note

Death Note ★★

If you've never seen (or heard) anything about the original material this isn't as awful as most of the internet would have you think.

I'd give it a 2.5 and describe it as a teen horror with a needlessly complicated rule book and problematic ending and leave it at that.

HOWEVER, it IS an Americanised remake of a well known Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. Which means I do have to mention that is completely and utterly ignores it's Japanese origins; has one token Asian character and pretty much wees all over the original themes.

One of the defining traits of manga is that it is unafraid to tackle themes of heavy moral consequence.

That a character can choose to rid the world of "bad men" without losing their innate goodness is an interesting one - some would say impossible, and there in lies the reason that the manga tale spans over 115 chapters.

No one would expect the film to carry that much detail; however the fact that 20 minutes in the frost tipped emotionally sensitive lead is telling some girl he barely knows all about the book betrays the whole moral dilemma of the original film.

As for that ending.
It helps if you've seen the original to a) understand what the last line is & b) keep track of the final sequence.

Willem Dafoe is a wonderful voice talent - the fact that last line is so hard to comprehend is perhaps the biggest screw up of all.

Adam Wingard - stick to the original material and keep the hell away from other peoples stuff. PLEASE.