Thursday, April 30, 2009

L: Change the WorLd

Last night, my wife and I met one of my friends at the theatre to watch a recently released Japanese movie titled “L: Change the WorLd.” The movie is based around the character L from Death Note (a popular manga title and anime series). In the U.S., the film is playing on two nights, with subtitles in last night’s showing and an English dubbed version playing tonight. I’m not a purist when it comes to manga/anime; I prefer dubbed versions, but last night was our only chance to go, and I honestly didn’t mind having to read the dialogue (plus, parts of it were in English).

A world-famous detective and recluse who identifies himself with the initial L has seemingly wrapped up the Kira case, in which a villain named Kira uses an unworldly notebook (known as a Death Note) to write down the names of any person he wishes to die. In order to outwit his nemesis, L writes his own name in a Death Note, thus precluding anyone else from writing his name. The only problem is that any person whose name is in a Death Note must die within 23 days, so L describes his demise as dying peacefully from a heart attack in 23 days.

An environmental extremist group develops a virus designed to kill anyone infected who isn’t vaccinated, thus cleansing the earth from humans. The only problem for the group is that the man they tricked into creating the vaccine hides its secret with his daughter and then takes his own life. L ends up in custody of the twelve-year-old girl along with a boy who managed to survive in a town that was used for testing the virus. L must find someone who can create the vaccine and stop the extremist group from succeeding in their attempt to unleash the virus, all before his 23 days expire.

The movie had a good mix of action and humor. L’s quirky behavior steals many of the scenes, but that’s as it should be since it’s his movie. It's an interesting “What If” tale from the Death Note universe, one that I think fans of the manga/anime would find amusing.

No comments: