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Film Review: L: Change the World (2008

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A spin-off of the popular Death Note films, L: Change The World focuses on the legendary detective L as he uses his final 23 days to solve crimes all over the world. When a young girl and boy come to him for aid, L is soon faced with what may be his most difficult case yet: stopping a group of corrupted scientists from spreading a lethal virus throughout the earth.


Like it or not, The Death Note movies have been very successful, and has been one of the most popular J-horror franchises in recent history. It has a whole database of fans- lots of which dress up as L in cosplay contests and obsess over them and how “Hot” they are. Truly, you can’t deny it that the series is famous. And comes again, another Death Note movie, this time focused Primarily on L. Sounds like a good idea, didn’t it?

Not. The premise is that the film takes place in L’s last 3 weeks (after the 2nd movie where he had written his own name in the Death Note). Our favorite hunched-over, OCD, unhygenic detective trying to figure out what to do in his last 3 weeks when all of a sudden, a virus is unleashed, causing people to grow some nasty looking spores on their faces. He find out that this is all the fault of a group of corrupt scientists, and only he could save it.

Sure the plot sounds interesting, but what really bothered me was the way the plot was told. There has to have been a deadline on here somewhere because it felt VERY rushed- You can tell there weren’t very many reshoots and very many character details. Plus, the script felt like a glorified fan-fiction to me- it lacked pretty much everything that made the first 2 movies so good (well, I’ll admit it- the scene where they try to make L stand up straight was hilarious), and the dialogue felt like something only an obsessed L fan would write. The editing was trite too- did Bob Guccione edit this movie? Did it include editing out the entire third act? Did it mean cutting scenes out so that the audience could automatically be confused?

I can’t wait for the movie to come out on DVD, so that I could see that 45 minutes of essential plot material cut out so they could make us confused. I also can’t wait to hear Hideo Nakata’s commentary going on and on about how amazing the actor playing L was (when at times it felt like there was supposed to be a coin slot on the side of his head so that if you put a quarter in there he’d start acting again). And also, another thing I can’t wait for The Last Name to come out so we can all watch it and forget this trite. But would that save the movie from being a train wreck? No.

Overall, this film is VERY boring, rushed, and repetitive, and annoying at times. This seriously should be called “Death Note: The Last Name 2.0”.

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