I am going to absolutely blunt here: it was shit. But it was funny shit. I’ll elaborate on that a little.
I understand that, for a movie adaptation of a long long series of something, be that anime or manga or any other form of media, some changes have to be made, especially when your target audience is from a very different culture to the one it was originally built for. But this? Who the hell were the target audience? I do not understand who this was supposed to be for: the fans, teenagers, B-movie enthusiasts? Whatever few references that they made to the original manga or the anime adaptation just felt cringey to me as a fan, so I don’t think that’s it. It’s a bit too gory for teenagers, but the plot and the use of shitty pop music absolutely makes it feel like one. So was it made for B-movie enthusiasts, among which I count myself? Perhaps, but even for that it was not very good.
In the first five minutes, the protagonist is already shown to be a very different character from the original Light. He’s a complete wuss and he doesn’t exude the same kind of coolness that Yagami Light does. Also, why the hell the name “Light Turner”? I couldn’t take it seriously at all, mainly because it made me think of “Timmy Turner” from Fairly Odd Parents. Now that I think about it, they’re not that different. But I digress. The character is just a wimpy nerd with a chip on his shoulder instead of a tactical genius with a god complex. They also managed to mess up L’s personality completely. It’s baffling. The only semi-decent thing about the damn thing was Willem Dafoe’s portrayal of Ryuk as they somewhat got it right.
Everything starting right in the first few minutes of the movie, how he gets the Death Note, how he meets his girlfriend… everything lacks subtlety. There is absolutely no subtlety in any of this. And what’s with the horribly cheesy pop soundtracks? It got me to burst out laughing at how cheesy the scenes became once some of them started playing.
In my opinion, this adaptation completely butchered the source material and is just bad. It is the kind of bad that is funny to watch unfold, however. I would thus recommend it just to see how awful it is.