Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

In true Hollywood style, as soon as a foreign film does well at the box office, a remake is scheduled so that the great unclean can watch a good story without having to expend any energy by reading subtitles. My initial reaction of “Oh FFS” was tempered when I heard that David Fincher was making the film, and I became intrigued upon hearing that Daniel Craig was to be playing Blomqvist. So it was that I eventually found myself looking forward to seeing the film when it was released.

The opening credits are tremendous. Very Bond-esque, there are lots of stylised tattoo-ink figures amongst other stuff, and the re-hashing of Led Zeppelin’s The Immigrant Song by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross fits really well.

Following all that, there is a general re-run of the original version, but in English. Don’t get me wrong, it is a very good film and I did enjoy it. It’s just, well, was it really worth doing? Rooney Mara is very good as Lisbeth Salander, though she’s almost a bit too pretty to be really gritty; there was just something about her face. Though she had obviously lost a lot of weight for the role her face was still too round and pretty. She’s certainly no Noomi Rapace who was just perfect, and Mara isn’t quite so brutal (though she has a mean swing with a golf club). Daniel Craig is also very good. He is the one thing I think is an improvement over the original. In the books Blomqvist is described as being quite a ladies man; however Michael Nyqvist in the original, has a face like a bag of spanners! Daniel Craig is definitely a better fit for this description, though he did spend a lot of the film wearing his glasses under his chin!

So, while I did enjoy the film I felt is didn’t offer much more than the original Swedish version. It wasn’t really a re-imagining, more a copy. The ending was changed slightly (if I remember correctly), but it’s of little significance. There is also quite an extended epilogue, I think spelling out what was more implied in the original; so those people who thought that Lord of the Rings had too many endings may be bored by this point. I didn’t think there were enough endings in LOTR so didn’t mind the epilogue. Overall it is a very good film, though perhaps redundant. If it ain't broke, don’t fix it.