Death Note: The Last Name - 6/10 God, I kinda wish Light would've won. Just saying.
Something distinct I remember thinking about this sequel in my previous rewatch was that it wasn't as refreshing as the first film. In the first film, we were discovering this incarnation of Death Note for the first time, and it was interesting to see the cast's new take on an old story. Unfortunately, by the second film, we are already well familiar of this adaptation and its tone, so familiar elements we might have already seen in the anime or manga like the ol' cat-and-mouse game between Light and L can feel hackneyed (that's also the main reason why the triquel, "Light Up the New World", failed so horribly).
The second film does become more political in some aspects. You get to hear more people's point of view about Kira and their justification on how his "New World" has lowered crime rate. There was even one scene where a religious bigot was preaching about how Kira is God's punishment on humanity. Unfortunately, it all felt like treading on the tip of the iceberg, and such interesting elements were never fully explored to their fullest potentials. I mean, could you imagine if we get to see more of the aforementioned religious aspect at play? What do Christians or Muslims think of this? Think of the possibilities.
But at the end of the day, this was still based on a shounen manga, so all we are settled with is the ol' cat-and-mouse play. I wish I could praise that part of the movie, but the good points about that were mostly what I've already said before about the first film. In particular, the casting is great and the stars delivered a solid performance again, and it's always great to see Tatsuya Fujiwara as Light especially towards the very end of the film, where his performance was at its greatest and most emotional,
when Light cries out to his father to understand his desperation in pursuing the justice he could never attain before Death Note.
One thing I failed to mention before was that these two movies have a solid soundtrack. I'm tempted to even go so far as to call it "amazing". I remember at the end of the first film, when Light and L finally met each other for the first time, that scene accompanied with the music made it a really (at risk of using an overused word) epic moment. The presentation of that scene just sends chills. And that's another thing great about these films - presentation. Depending on how you present it, something familiar can still be as exciting. The opening of the first film, where a mysterious individual is writing names of criminals who then died immediately (shortly before the words "DEATH NOTE" were burned onto the screen), the start of the second film, where Dani California is played over the opening credits, not to mention the finale,
where Light is finally confronted by the police for his crimes.
These were just some of the moments that were presented spectacularly, and it's a reminder of why movies can be merely pure entertainment and nothing else, even if the source material is considered a philosophical masterpiece by many.
So yes, "Death Note: The Last Name" is a little disappointing in that its familiarity breeds an impatience in the audience as we all just wanted to see the conclusion we knew was coming. But I still strongly believe that it's worth checking out, that its ending far surpasses the anime's,
(with L winning the day as he should instead of being defeated)
and that it's far more superior than "Light Up the New World" and most anime live action adaptations I've seen - and that final point includes the Netflix Death Note too. I mean, "The Last Name" might not be anything special, but it at least has the decency to give enough screentime for the entire story in two parts rather than cram it altogether in one.
Lastly, go check out the soundtrack, seriously. I leave you with a link to the theme music of this movie. It's awesome.
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Sept 17, 2020 0:56:16 GMT
Old Man Dream: Update with Three Callaberos. Only about halfway through it at the moment. Because it's a package film with a series of animated shorts, been taking my time getting through it this past week. Never got around to seeing it last night since I got swamped...
Sept 17, 2020 15:44:16 GMT
Old Man Dream: ...in my freelance work. But will try to get through it as I have time to do so.
Sept 17, 2020 15:44:42 GMT
Old Man Dream: Done with Three Callaberos. See if I can do some sort of review for it tonight or if not, tomorrow at the latest.
Sept 18, 2020 1:21:34 GMT