On Friday, Netflix released its new movie Death Note, an adaptation of a manga series by the same name. The plot centers on a boy who finds a magical notebook whose users can kill anyone they want by writing that person's name in it and picturing their face. A lot of people die as a result, often in gruesome ways. The movie faced criticism for casting almost entirely white actors in a film based on a Japanese series, and now that it's out, people are saying it betrays the original in more ways than that.
In addition to whitewashing the cast, Twitter users are complaining that the movie changed key plot points and made the main character a totally different person, consequently erasing the themes the manga series explored. Some are brutally dragging the film for being less intelligent and overall enjoyable than the comics.
Reviews are similar. "In making the film’s protagonist a wayward hero with a moral compass, the film loses virtually everything that made the concept engaging, for its faults and suspect power apologetics," Dominick Suzanne-Mayer wrote in Consequence of Sound. "It becomes the story of a bullied kid becoming the ultimate bully, and the film is far uglier for it."
Akhil Arora similarly wrote in Gadgets 360 that "in packing a dozen hours worth of a tale about morality, religion, violence, and justice into a feature-length project, the Death Note Netflix movie... ails to handle the nuance that has made Death Note so resonant and popular, and instead produces a gory violent film by way of weird teenage high-school romance."
Benjamin Lee's review for The Guardian says that despite all this, the movie could provide some thrills for horror fans. Still, he admits that "whether hardcore fans of the original will warm to the update is questionable."
Now, it looks like we have an answer: They definitively haven't.