L: Change the World


Reviewed by: sukting

December 12, 2011

Rating: two-point-five

How long
2 hours

Foreword
It is directed by Hideo Nakata and is a spin-off film and a sequel to the Death Note film series. The film is on the final 23 days of L's life, as he solves one final case involving a bioterrorist group.

Story/Introduction on characters
L (Kenichi Matsuyama) is with Watari (Shunji Fujimura). The two are discussing the case and Light Yagami is being monitored. L, holding the Death Note, says he is ending the case, and begins to write down a name. Watari asks if it is Light Yagami's name that he is writing, and L says "this is the last name that will be written in the Death Note". L holds up the notebook which has his name.

Light Yagami died. Watari is with Misa Amane, who asks if Watari is like L's father. Watari begins to answer, but is killed by the Death Note. L covers Watari's body with a sheet before L confronts Light. L holds the Death Note, and Ryuk asks if L wants to use it. L knows even though Light wants to be a god, he doesn't die like one. L calls the Death Note a murder weapon and burns the two death notes.

L now has less than a month to live, and begins solving cases. Sitting at his computer, he picks up numerous notes that contain the details of multiple unsolved cases. He quickly solves them all, and is seen sitting in the room in his usual position.

Meanwhile in Thailand, Agent F (Kazuki Namioka) is observing the results of a deadly virus in a small village. While attempting to escape from a bomb destruction by killers, F finds a small boy (Narushi Fukuda) a surviving victim and gives him a necklace and a phone number to call. "Boy" escapes the village, but F dies after contracting the rapid spreading virus. "Boy" calls the number given to him by F, and is brought to L's headquarters. L gives him a checkup and is puzzled on why he stays alive.

Although sad over Watari's death, L sends all messages to inform all agents. He is hesitant to send to Agent K but still does this. K replies she also feels regretful over this. Dr. Nikaido (Shingo Tsurumi), a researcher, has received a sample of the deadly virus. He writes a formula in his daughter, Maki (Mayuko Fukuda)'s book. He also injects antibiotics into her body daily since they stay in a chemical area.

His assistant, Dr. Kimiko Kujo (Youki Kudoh) conspires with Daisuke Matoba (Masanobu Takashima) to reduce the population in the world. Daisuke is blind in one eye and is very ruthless. Kimiko is Agent K and comes in contact with L, pretending to ask him some questions to find out if he knows about the virus. Dr. Nikaido, who has created an antidote, refuses to give it her. He kills himself and destroys it in the laboratory. She is convinced that Maki has the formula.

Under the pursuit of Dr. Kimiko and her assistants, Maki runs away after viewing her father die from being injected with the virus. She finds L's headquarters to hide there. Soon after, the bio-terrorist group tracks Maki down. This forces L to bring the children to escape on a high-tech truck. It is concealed as a sweets delivery truck dubbed "Angel Crepe" and reflects truly on him who loves sweets. They get the help of a Japanese-American FBI agent, Hideaki Suruga(Kiyotaka Nanbara).

This poor man does little except acting like a bait to lure the others away. Maki persuades L to stand straight and not to eat too many sweets. L has tried to cheer the children up with these when they are with him in his headquarters. Maki's jabs only keeps the virus under control temporary so they have to find a cure soon.

L seeks the help of Nikaido's research partner, Koichi Matsudo (Sei Hiraizumi) to create an antidote. He isn't confident as he has failed before. Using "Boy", who solves the puzzle left by Dr. Nikaido in her notebook, L manages to acquire the antidote. The stupid Maki wants to kill Dr Kimiko on her own by slipping away and is taken hostage.

Just as the terrorists are about to take an infected Maki to the US to spread the virus, L stops the plane by jumping on to it. Daisuke accidentally comes into contact with Maki's blood and dies quickly. L manages to save a baby and gives all the infected passengers, including Dr. Kimiko the antidote. Dr. Kimiko has wanted to die but L stops her.
Maki then tries to kill Kujo for revenge but L also stops her. L leaves "Boy" at an orphanage and giving him his "real name", Near. He then walks away, trying to straighten his back.

Most favourite character
L – he puts himself before others.

Most hated character
All the villains – very one-dimensional. Agent K is too sweet looking in appearance to be a murderer.

Interesting facts
The film was also adapted into a light novel with the same name, written by "M" and published in Japan on While the novel is similar to the film, there are many significant changes to the plot. Near is the same Near that appears in the manga, but not a Thai boy. It also reveals more information about L and his past.

Many shots were done in Thailand. The major characters of the main plot such as Light Yagami (Kira), Misa Amane, and Shinigami Ryuk all have brief cameos in the film. Even the director of the movies turned up for the movie premiere to give his support.

Conclusion
L doesn't change the world – he only saves the world. L becomes a stuntsman and bodyguard instead of a brain machine. He goes on a lot of running and tries straightening his back. L does too many un-L things e.g. riding a bike and eat less sugar. The director wants to show a human side of L but fails to do so. I still prefer L's unique way – why force him to change? And as the leader of agents, can the supervision of his headquarters be so easily destroyed by K?

Kenichi Matsuyama reprises his role and retains the childlike innocence which hides a witty mind beneath. But I see little of him doing that and mostly, he is on the run. He is definitely underutilized. The movie murders my favourite death note. I am glad that I borrowed the dvd instead of watching in the cinema.

Sukting's ratings :
On acting : *** (Scale of 5)
On story : **1/2 (Scale of 5)


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