Movie Review-Death Note II

Special features – The Death Note anime trailer, the Japanese and US trailer and Viz Pictures Presents. The primary featurette is “the Making of Death Note II”, a 23-minute featurette which includes interviews with the director and the main talent involved with the film. Also included in the special features is an explanation by director Shusuke Kaneko on differences from the live film and the manga version.

Plot-Death Note is based on the very popular manga by Tsugumi Ooba and Takeshi Obata. Death Note II picks up exactly where the first film ended.( Spoiler Alert if you have not seen the original Death Note) After the death of someone who gave away Light’s identity as the murderous Kira, Light with his assistant an accompanying shinigami plots to continue his popular vigilante terror to rid the world of criminals using the magical Death Note. But his growing popularity collides with the young mastermind detective L. This time a up and coming female pop star plays into the Death Note saga.

Review-As much as I love the first film and hated the third one, this one is the treasure of the group. At 140 minutes, this film is so fast paced and wonderfully acted that you start to wish it was not going to end. The first film was more of a building up of the Kira persona of Light, how he could go from just an ordinary kid in school to having the power to change someone’s fate just by writing their name in a book. But, as good as the anti-hero Light is, it is when L was introduced that the film really gave us a tense cat and mouse game that seemed more like two chess players trying to make a better move than the other, than acting. This film introduces a new key member to the Death Note, who was hinted on in the first one and that is Rem who like Light has an accompanying shinigami. This film just like the first one all centers around the cat and mouse game of Light and L. This is almost like the anime inspired answering to the Godfather. There is not one scene in this film that seems wasted or piece of dialogue that does not fit in.

My only fault with this film is that they stayed too faithful to the manga; I would have loved to see them throw in some twists and maybe a different outcome to certain key scenes. I thought all the actors in this film really shined and they made each scene outshine the last, and by the end of the film you are just wishing it was at least twenty more minutes. I hated the ending, not in a bad way, but in a way it sort of made the third one seem like a very bad idea. This just felt like Infernal Affairs geared towards the Xbox generation. And if you are not a fan of the Manga, you do not need to read them to get these films. Start with part one and be sucked into the story of Light and L. This is a great film and a definite must watch experience. It has killing, but nothing too bloody or violent, but it has a story that keeps you invested and wanting to see how it unfolds. I am a huge Death Note fan and cannot wait to see this Gantz film.

10 out of 10