Netflix’s Manga Adaptation ‘Death Note’ Is Nothing To Write Home About

But it does have a cool soundtrack.

Death Note (R21)

Starring Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley, Shea Whigham 

Directed by Adam Wingard

The Fault in Our Stars’ Nat Wolff plays Light Turner, a high school outcast who’s in possession of a mystical tome lets him kill off anyone — by scribbling their name in it. With this newfound godlike power, Light — with a little help from his consigliere, Ryuk, a CG-ed spiky demon voiced by Willem Dafoe, channelling Green Goblin — starts targeting criminals, dispensing instant vigilante justice where he deems fit. (OMG, he’s an armchair Dexter!)

     Get Out’s Lakeith Stanfield plays L, a candy-popping super-detective tasked with cracking the case.

     Beneath the supernatural coating, Death Note — based on a cult Japanese manga that’s been adapted into countless anime, video games and live-action features — is really a battle of wits between a righteous serial killer and a master sleuth.

     But director Adam Wingard (Blair Witch) doesn’t seem to be interested in pursuing that; he’s keener on making it gory. In the Japanese version, the victims die from cardiac arrest; here, they kick the bucket horribly, Final Destination-style.

All in all, it’s neither terrific nor terrible, just... okay. Is it scary? Not really. Suspenseful? A little bit.  The soundtrack is cool, though.   (How many horror movies do you know use Chicago’s ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Without You ‘?) On Netflix. (**1/2)

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