"Sweet, I can't wait to rewa--"
"Sealing my own fate is the only way to outwit Death."
So, I'm one of the weird people who liked the original live-action Death Note movies, at least the first two. The story was compressed to mostly focus on the first half of the story, leaving out other characters and events that, while interesting, made me a bit annoyed by the end of it all, and left more than one fan a little annoyed by the outcome.
But the first two movies kinda fixed that.
This movie is focused on L and the organization that he comes from, as well as his 'final mystery' in the days before his death. Oh, yes, spoilers for the first two Death Note movies, and what I like about this movie over some parts of the manga - L and Kira have a final showdown instead of L's protege's tracking down Kira and being damned lucky in actually cornering him (I have yet to meet someone who likes the ending of the manga or anime beyond one scene that they got in the second movie). However, the result in this final play is L having only about a month to live. During that time, he finds out about one final case - a virus because of course it's a freakin' evil doomsday virus, with only a few kids as the carriers of the cure. Because if we're doing an unwritten chapter, let's have it be with an evil virus created by ecoterrorists because human overpopulation, with someone trying to sell it because he's an evil money-grubbing war-monger! I'm sure you can add in another cliche too after having the only people with the cure being kids! *groan*
I love L as a character. The actor they got for the live-action version of Death Note was great at keeping in his odd characteristics and way of acting, and the relationship he had, as well as the ones he later gained, through the Kira case is great in a way of humanizing L and making Kira a little less sociopathic. Not by much, granted, but it shows a different and equally valid path that another character could have taken, and it makes the ending of the story far more bittersweet than the ending that occurs in the anime and manga. I do still like those two, but I just like the way they ended it here instead. Hopefully the Netflix show will take the best of both and make it a great show.
But back to the movie...oh my goddess, this was not needed. L's characterization was established enough! We didn't need to know he was overall a good person, we knew that! It's worth seeing it for L and the actor who plays L, and to see a final few bits of him interacting with Light and Watari, but overall it's unneeded in the Death Note story, and only good if you want to say you've seen all of what Death Note has to offer before the Netflix show comes on.
L: Change the World was pitched as the "Unwritten Chapter of DEATH NOTE", and probably should've stayed unwritten.