6/29/2017

The Death God Emerges In New Trailer For Adam Wingard's 'Death Note'


Adam Wingard's adaptation of the hit Japanese manga/anime Death Note has become a target in much the same way Ghost in the Shell did. "Whitewashing" is a term I think gets thrown around too loosely and it doesn't always apply. Frankly, it's an argument I no longer think is worth having. I don't care when other countries remake our movies with actors appropriate for their culture, and I don't care when we do the same.

My only concern is that Death Note be a good movie, and if we are going to remake it for American audiences then to find elements in our culture that relate to the source material. I'm not so sure that's happening here. Nat Wolff plays Light Turner, who discovers a powerful notebook that let's him kill anyone whose name is written into it. In the original manga, Light's turn towards vigilantism was due to his disgust at the Japanese criminal justice system. Here it seems to be a simple matter of being bullied, but I can think of a myriad of problems with our system that would inspire someone like Light to take matters into his own hands.  

On the plus side appear to be the insane performance by Willem Dafoe as the Ryuk, the Death God who encourages Light, and Lakeith Stanfield as L, the unconventional detective hot on Light's trail. Wingard's use of darkness and shadow would be overdone in any other movie but it's exactly how Death Note should look. I'm not going to write this movie off like some others have. It has potential to go either way at this point and I'm eager to find out which way it swings.

Also starring Margaret Qualley, Death Note hits Netflix on August 25th.