Sometimes an adaption can actually work if we don't get too serious. We don't need to over-think the series or the hundreds of episodes that came before it. By cutting out large chunks of the backstory and mythology, Death Note's not entirely beholden to the original work. This gives us a fresh representation of a first-encounter creature feature, and the film's strength lies in building on the source material without going overly in depth. Instead it relies on grounding the film on its core concepts and simplifying the plot just enough to engage.