158 Min | Crime – Drama – Mystery | December 2011
IMDB Rating: 7.9
Director: David Fincher
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has a rather large fan following and for good reason. The 2009 Swedish film is incredibly solid and well-acted with just the right amount of wrong. The two sequels that followed had their own uphill battles (switching directors, lower budget, etc) and weren’t necessarily bad, but just failed to capture that raw emotional tenacity the original film offered. When news of a remake began making the usual rounds, there was a fairly large uproar amongst the internet community (isn’t there always?), especially when it was announced Noomi Rapace wouldn’t be returning as Lisbeth Salander. Most American remakes aren’t directed by David Fincher though and while it isn’t vastly different in comparison to its Swedish counterpart, Fincher has at least improved upon what was already a fantastic piece of cinema.
The opening of the film was a bit unexpected. “The Immigrant Song” cover by Trent Reznor and Karen O plays over these really fluid visuals that are a bit hard to describe. Imagine the T-1000 from Terminator 2 made of motor oil or tar instead of metal and you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. It was just very different from other film credits from the rest of the year while also being very sleek, very stylish, and very David Fincher. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is extremely dialogue driven, so be prepared for a lot of talking. It feels very similar to Zodiac in that sense yet more captivating. The film is just a joy to look at from beginning to end.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is obviously not going to be for everybody. It relies on extremely long discussions to drive most of the two and a half hour duration of the film. In between though, it becomes difficult to watch mostly with how Nils Bjurman handles giving Lisbeth more money and her response. Lisbeth’s response will more than likely have you tiptoeing out of the theater as delicately as possible since you’ll still be feeling it. With a phenomenal cast, incredibly rich cinematography, a brilliant score, and Rooney Mara’s best performance to date, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is not only an improvement over the original but easily one of the best films of the year.