Death Note: The Last Name Review

The battle between Light (Tatsuya Fujiwara) and L (Ken’ichi Matsuyama) continues in this well paced thriller that follows on beautifully from the first as a second Kira enters the mix. This time fate has landed in the hands of a television presenter and pop star Misa Amane (Erika Toda). She begins her quest by taking the studio she works for hostage (in almost omnipresent form) via an outside screen. Here she pledges her allegiance to the original Kira (who is still Light) but starts to dispose of anyone who opposes the ideals.

It is safe to say that this young lady (whose family were massacred by a home intruder when she was younger) has a few issues.  But she has also something that Light does not have – and that is the “eyes.” In this case you can ask your angel of death to grant you the eyes to see people’s names at the cost of half of your lifespan. This comes as a great bonus to Light when Misa tracks him down and literally bows down before him. He then seeks to get her in L’s presence so she can identify his real name so Light can execute his nemesis. L on the other hand isn’t quite so easy to get to or to get the better of. So the games continue.

Never being predictable, The Last Name also displays a more obvious sense of humour to it – especially not being afraid to make fun of the character L when he is out in public wearing a mask to hide his identity, as well as in one instance watching his puzzled and then petrified look when he is surrounded by a large crowd of screaming teenagers.

L perhaps deduces things a little bit too quickly. All of his guesses are spot on and made literally at the moment when the investigation is in question. He does have the perfect answer for everything, yet we aren’t given enough information as to why he manages to always be right.  It is almost like the writers just to save time had him guess everything correctly but then half the fun is how this high tech Sherlock Holmes goes about proving the truth as opposed to finding it.

At 2 hours and 20 minutes it may be a bit padded in places, but the plot works to extend all over the place and does build to a worthy and satisfying climax little seen in western cinema. If you have invested in all of these characters and especially the constant games being played by the two leads then it’s a paradise to watch these two play off each other right up to the climax.

There is a disc of extras as well including ‘making of’ materials, trailers, production videos and press conferences.

This is released as part of a 4 disc set along with the first Death Note film.

Steven Hurst

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