Why He Was Not Our Light Turner
NOTE: This is only focusing on the Netflix film version of Light Turner since the anime/manga version of him is likable
- First off, Light Turner, the American reimagining of Light Yagami is a dull protagonist who lacks the charisma of his original Japanese counterpart and is just some bullied unpopular student (usually because it was supposed to be faithful from the pilot chapter with the “Death Eraser” (which would bring people back to life) for the Death Note removed) instead of being smart, and exemplary.
- Speaking of being a bullied student, Light barely tries to get personal training and telling his teachers about his bullies instead he just murders them with the Death Note if it was a different story.
- He comes across as more unhinged than the original as his first kill is so brutal and so petty (he has a cartoonishly stereotypical school bully named Kenny Doyle get gruesomely decapitated by a ladder as unintentional revenge for hitting him while he was stopping Kenny from stealing another student’s things at the beginning of the film). Light Yagami's first kill was when he had no belief the Death Note would actually do anything (as he had not yet met Ryuk) and was an actual criminal holding women and children hostage, who he caused to die from a heart attack.
- His reaction to Ryuk is like an attempt at slapstick comedy as he screams and repeatedly falls over while papers from his classroom fall over also. While Yagami in both the anime and manga only screams once when he first encountered him in his home room after using the Death Note.
- He behaves mostly nothing like Yagami and feels more like a cowardly villain who gets away scot-free and acts completely emo.
- Unlike his Japanese counterpart, Light in this doesn’t have a sister from the manga/anime while his mother was also never dead in said manga/anime before the events of the film.
- Because his first kill is so brutal and petty compared to his anime/manga counterpart, he actually comes across as more unhinged than the original. In the anime/manga his first kill is when he doesn't believe the Death Note is real and was an actual criminal holding people hostage.
- He does stupid things like take the Death Note to school and read it in public with little attempt to conceal it. Even when L is after him, he continues to talk about how he is Kira in public places and on the phone. He even admits he's the killer to L.
- He does most of his killing to impress Mia Sutton (Misa’s American counterpart), heavily weakening his character.
- Many of his darker character traits were given to Mia (Misa’s American counterpart) in an attempt to make him unambiguously evil.
- Light claims that Watari's death is a "dealer's choice" because he hasn't written any specific circumstances, despite the film showing rule 16 (which includes part of the original rule 1) which states that if no cause of death is specified the victim will die of a heart attack. This is part of a series of plot contrivances to make it so Watari's death is not Light's fault.
- As mentioned above, you should feel less sympathy of being another “unpopular bullied student” and the death of his mother.
- He at least does care about his father and Mia.
- At least Nat Wolff did a decent job as Light Turner, even if the material given to him is god-awful and being held back in a couple of scenes like his first reaction to Ryuk.