THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
A discredited journalist (Daniel Craig) and a mysterious computer hacker discover that even the wealthiest families have skeletons in their closets while working to solve the mystery of a 40-year-old murder in this David Fincher-directed remake of the 2009 Swedish thriller of the same name. Inspired by late author Stieg Larsson's successful trilogy of books, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo gets under way as the two leads (Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara) are briefed in the disappearance of Harriet Vanger, whose uncle suspects she may have been killed by a member of their own family. The deeper they dig for the truth, however, the greater the risk of being buried alive by members of the family, who will go to great lengths to keep their secrets tightly sealed. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: David Fincher
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Steven Berkoff, Stellan Skarsgård
Release Date: Dec 21, 2011
Rated R for brutal violent content including rape and torture, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, and language
Runtime: 2 hr. 38 min.
Remaking a foreign film that came out in 2009 still kind of boggles the mind but if somebody was going to do it and do it well, David Fincher is probably the right guy to helm it. Personally I’m a fan of the Swedish film trilogy which I found sleek and impressively shot, not to mention the cast with Noomi Rapace leaving the biggest impression. So while it’s hard to not compare and contrast, I’ll try and avoid it as much as possible but it’s unavoidable. Fincher’s film sizzles with his trademark visual style which gives his film an oppressive and grim atmosphere throughout. Fincher seems to be reaching back to his own film, The Game, when dealing with the Vanger’s. A few things change here and there but for the most part, to its detriment, Fincher sticks to the general structure of the Swedish film. Sadly, some of the plot issues that bothered me previously seem amplified here with a choppy story structure especially in the final act which seems to have more ending that the last Lord of the Rings. Still, Fincher does a good job of pacing the film at a steady pace even if there isn’t much tangible action. Fincher handles Lisbeth’s more explicit scenes with impressive style, making it just as shocking even if you’ve seen the Swedish version. Rooney Mara in the role of Lisbeth is a revelation, while I loved Noomi Rapace’s take on the character she had a bit of an issue showing the character’s fragile side. Mara deftly deals with this through simple facial movements, typically with no dialogue. She also plays her rage like a sort of wild animal pushed into a corner; just listen to her manic yelping when restrained. Daniel Craig fills the role of Mikael Blomkvist with a more believable sense of self than Michael Nyqvist in the Swedish version. Some of the issue with Blomkvist is that comes off as kind of aloof, it’s more of an issue with the source material than anything else but Craig does a solid job. Christopher Plummer’s small but pivotal role is well done as he’s clearly on task and having a ball. Stellan Skarsgård seems slightly off and understated for some reason. David Fincher brings it all together and delivers a strong film that, like the original film, works much better off the films leads especially the showcase role of Lisbeth which Mara nails.