caution: ridicule included. because it’s simply ridiculous.
In a red light district, a Japanese FBI agent is appeasing her fiancé in the car. “Can you quit this job?” “Why?” “He’s a serial killer… He’ll kill you with an eye blink.” “He is the one who suggested this surprise attack. That should be enough to ensure my safety. Especially, when he already knows about us. I’ll be back, Ray [Penbar].” The long haired woman steps out of the car, then she turns back to reassure Ray one more time with a smile and a flirtatious-went-freakitatious gun shot hand imitation. “Don’t worry,” and off she goes.
The camera pulls away, someone is watching Agent Naomi live on a computer.
Naomi catwalks straight ahead, ignoring the approaching junkies on the street. She passes an abandoned warehouse, does a double take and busts out her gun in front of the warehouse door. Before entering, she turns her head over her shoulder, nods and smiles towards a camera drifting in the midst of the clear blue sky.
L is still watching on the computer with Watali on the side. It’s raining outside.
It’s before the Kira case. L had given the mission to Naomi before she retires to marry Ray. Watali stands rigidly besides L, he asks, “Do you, not want to do this anymore?” “Not do this anymore…? … This is all I have. But Watali, I’m content with just you by my side.”
*bang Bang BANG* three loud gun shots echoes throughout the entire red light district, accompanied with three bright flashes. (When did manufactures start incorporating flashes with guns? Like, oh snap! Let’s get a shot of this shot? Very punny. And Miss Naomi seems to forget about her gun silencer.) Naomi walks out, buttoning her jacket and winks at the invisible camera hovering in the sky. (Ummm wonder what she had been doing inside, unbuttoning that jacket of hers. Exercising her womanly charms before the marriage maybe?) She is 12 seconds before schedule. Impressive.
With the case at hand taken care of, L decides to go to Japan for the Kira case. Maybe this time, he can finally retire.
120 days later in Bangnum, a small village in Thailand, a fatalistic epidemic broke out, wiping out the entire village with the exception of one boy. An American team dressed in elaborate protection suites gathered a vial of blood sample from one of the infected peasants and eradicated the entire village with a bomb. (The Americans are just doomed to be the big bad wolf.) Or, so they thought.
F, who was working in Thailand at the time, saved this boy. He hands the boy his own necklace, a phone number, a pass code, and a name – Watali – all before dying.
While the virus is being spread, quarantined, and contained, L is sitting on a chair in his usual peculiar way, eyes glued to the surveillance camera recordings of Yagami Light, and dropping cute little sugar cubes into his coffee. (French roast? House blend? Italian roast? Or maybe L doesn’t care as long as it tastes sweet? He might as well be munching on those sugar cubes and we’d still love him.) Watali informs L of F’s honorable death in the mission in Thailand. L listens and bites his thumb. *Swoosh* L pulls out Misa’s Death Note with his thumb and forefingers and lets it dangle in the air for a second. Then he jumps off the chair, slouches towards the writing desk, bare foot, and he snatches a pen. L scribbles his own name on the Death Note: L Lawliet, dies peacefully from heart failure, 23 days later. (Why 23?) Watali is shocked, but L explains that Light would want him dead anyway. To decide for his own death is the only way to prevail against a Shinigami or a disillusioned mad man who claims himself to be the New God.
The vial of blood collected in Bangnum is sent to an Asia Infectious Disease Center in … yup, Japan. It came all the way from Thailand to Washington DC, then from DC to Japan. (Seems like the American researchers prefer their cheeseburgers over science and Nobel Prize.) Dr. Kimihiko Nikaido is in direct charge of the vial of blood, his assistant, Dr. Kimiko Kujo (AKA K) aids the research. Dr. Nikaido studies the virus and determines that it’s a mutation of two deadly viruses, making this particular strand more destructive than ever. He also deducts that it’s a humanly incubated weapon intended to wipe out an entire population. A failed weapon, he adds. There is no cure yet, therefore whoever invented the virus does not have the power to eliminate at will.
The Kira case is coming to an end, Watali dies in the elevator. L puts a black veil over Watali’s body in the morgue before returning to the dark hotel by himself. He sits in front of a single candle, thinking and lamenting to himself. Then he pulls out the Death Note with two fingers to burn it. Ryuk appears behind L, munching on a juicy, red apple, and persuades, ” Light said you can become the god of the New World with this” he nudges towards the Death Note danging in L’s two fingers and continues, “Won’t you consider?” L puts the death note down, “Light’s way of dying, is that how a God die?” Ryuk stutters. L raises the Death Note again. Shrieks emit off the Death Note as it burns in a blue flame, the Kira case is finally closed and L has 20 days left to live.
In an environmental protection research center called Blueship, (is that why we’re going Green but the recycle bins are blue?) an old man is pacing back and forth, making grand speeches about protecting mother nature and rather viciously wishing for an epidemic, or a virus to wipe the earth clean. ([insert witty sneering here]) The old man then proceeds to chastise and eventually cast out one of his royal assistants. The assistant takes a few steps back, opens a tin box a little away, and grabs a knife. He walks towards the old man and stabs the man with the knife. (A very safe working environment I tell you.) A stream of blood starts to wash down from the man’s mouth like a red waterfall, you know, sort of like those in Sweeney Todd, less gruesome of course. The killer establishes himself as the man in control after his boss’s death and viola, we’ve got ourselves a handful of bad guys, and a gal.
There is only 19 days left, and L is using every last bit of his energy to solve cases and saturating his system with sweets. (It’s ok that he has awful English and French accents, he’s L.)
The surviving boy finally calls L. By the time the boy came to Japan and underwent 83429832093483 tests to confirm his immunity, and finally had enough that he stormed out with an EEG cap still hanging, and latched onto L’s lollipop-holding arm, L’s got only 8 more days left.
The boy follows L back to the hotel room and squads down in the corner of the room only Watali and L have been to. L bends down and attempts to appease the kid with a row of differently shaped and flavored doughnuts. The boy looks up at L, L starts to chew on the doughnuts himself. The boy runs out and attacks a bag of chips like a hungry wolf. Welcome to junk-food land! PS: They are such a perfect pair. 🙂
Back in the Infectious Disease Center, Dr. Kimihiko Nikaido gives his daughter her usual homework and a vial of the blood sample containing the virus that was to be delivered to Watali. Off the girl goes but she returns to pick up the pink teddy bear she left behind. If she knew what she would stand to witness, maybe she would forsake the bear to avoid the gruesome scene. In any case, when she returned at night, the research center has been compromised, dead bodies are lying everywhere. Stepping over the corpses, a girl’s natural instinct tells her to run to the safety of her father’s arms. She arrives at the contained research lab, her father is inside, fully dressed. Outside of the glass walls, stands the five bad guys, Dr. Kimiko Kujo (K) included. The girl clutches onto her bear and peaks from behind a wall.
K is the mastermind behind the viral weapon. She created it in the very room Dr. Nikaido is standing and now she wants the cure Nikaido developed over the past couple days. (Few days and he’s got the cure all figured out… So, where are the cures for cancer and AIDS?) The good Dr. puts on a struggle and sets off to destroy the vial of pale yellow cure as a gesture of firm refusal to participate in K’s vision of achieving harmony by wiping out the human population. K extorts the Dr with his daughter’s life. The Dr takes off his lab equipment and sticks the fat needle into his own arm.
Within seconds, red zits start to pop out of his face as the Dr. chokes in pain.
Then, a lot of roaring, ahhing, goggling, and gasping follows.
The zits start to burst, scarlet discharges ooze out of his skin.
And blood starts to squirt out of the man’s seven orifices in every direction. At last, he is dead. (Hopefully I didn’t just upset your stomach. :D)
The little girl runs away and hops onto the family car, her chauffeur drives her everywhere to look for Watali. Meanwhile, having lost a respectable coworker and researcher, K calms herself and recalls the puzzle homework the Dr. gives to his daughter every week. She pulls the string of letters she saw in the puzzle book as it fell to the ground out of her brain and starts to decode it. There’s no apparent logic of how she could possibility know how to arrange the array of numbers when they were originally packed into the grids of a rhombus, nor any viable rules of cryptology to explain her knowledge of grouping the letters in clusters of two and ignoring every other set of numbers. Nonetheless, she decodes it and comes up with the name Watali.
Not wasting a second, K connects to L and briefly explains the situation. Before disconnecting, she and L arranged for a meeting.
After hanging up, L takes a close look at the recorded conversation and zooms in on a silverware in the background. He enlarges the picture, there, in the reflection, clear as day light, the culprits holding the guns are standing on the other side of the computer screen.
The girl finds L and joins the boy. They start to cry together, leaving a confounded L watching and sucking his thumb.
K and her group of slaughters hack into L’s security measures at the door and breaks in. The girl sees K in the security camera, full of rage, she runs out to confront the bad guys. A syringe in hand, the girl injects the blood into herself and runs towards the killers to infect them and avenge her father. L grabs the girl and drags her away from the scared murderers towards an escape route. The boy trails behind. (Thanks to Death Note, L won’t be infected.)
They walk through a wall and enters a tunnel looking corridor. L hops down the stairs three at a time to buy them more time. Then suddenly, abruptly, an FBI agent who calls himself Hideaki Suruga appears and aids L and the kids’ escape. (Ladies and gentlemen, if someone were ever to pop out of nowhere, claiming to be an FBI agent, in the middle of a life or death escape, do not trust him under any circumstance. Unless you are L.)
The four of them hop onto a pink commercial truck for crepe and drives off. By then it’s daytime. While the FBI agent drives the truck around as bait, L takes the two kids to roam the streets. The boy picks up a robot from the toy stand and plays with it then he puts it back down. L watches the boy half minded and buys himself a tiny black controller, then the three of them settle in an outside cafe to do their favorite things: the boy building with sugar cubes, L eats sugar cubes, and the girl watching the two strange guys surrounding her.
Once the FBI agent gets rid of the followers, after causing major traffic jam and getting tomatoed, he starts to imitate L’s behavior to get a feel of how it’s like to be the eccentric yet most ingenious L.
The bad guys issued a warrant of the girl on TV, spreading rumors that she is infected with the deadly virus and is out to harm others. With the help of media, L and the two kids starts a life on the run. (Yes, I noticed the girl is still alive. In fact, she looks perfectly healthy.)
5 days left: L finds the professor who co-authored a book with the girl’s dad and begs him to find a cure.
4 days left: While every one’s waiting for the prof to find the cure, the boy starts to solve the geometry problem in the girl’s homework book, given by her father during the same time he developed the cure.
3 days left: The prof concludes that the reason the girl survives till today is because she is hyperglycemic, and the virus attacks glucose. (*mantra to self: willing suspension of disbelief*) Meanwhile, the boy solves the math problem, the answer is a ratio: 13:11. Using the corresponding English letter, L decodes it to be MK and is sure that’s the key to the cure. With the professor’s help, they target the main component to be Midkine protein. (and it’s said to treat Alzheimers?!) The development for cure is en route to “change the world”.
To celebrate the turn of events, L and the two kids sit down for a picnic together. The girl makes a request for L, to stand up straight. L does, slowly, snaping every segment of his spine as he attempts to straighten his back. When he does, the girl lets out a content smile.
That night, the girl calls K, intending to kill her to avenge her father. She is kidnapped by K instead.
2 days left: L has deduced that K and her men will take the girl to a plane to the US and transports her as a patient in need of emergency care abroad. Because only US will be able to afford the kind of price they want for their viral invention. (They seem to forget that the US has their own researchers as well.) That’s at least K’s followers’ idea. K has her own plan.
The drug wares off and the girl wakes up. She is starting to show signs of infection. The people from Blueship hijacks the plane and attempts to take off. Unfortunately, the speed of the virus is quicker than the hijackers. Soon the entire plane is filled with moaning and shirking. L makes to the plane in time and distributes a bag full of cure developed by the professor. He then stops the plane from crushing into the air port using the small black controller he bought on the streets. Everybody is saved, K’s plan to distribute the virus through a plane crush is crushed as well.
L changes the world and sends K to prison. Bravo.
Two thumbs up for patient readers who actually read the whole thing. Aside from the fact that Ken’ichi Matsuyama is still the best goth looking L with the immaculate skin we remembered from the Death Note movies, there’s nothing spectacular about this movie. Well, maybe the idea to explore L’s humane side is praise worthy, but other than that, it falls short of being mediocre.