The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (USA/Sweden/UK/Germany, 2011)

Directed by: David Fincher. Generally when weighing an artwork’s merit, it’s only fair to judge the piece by its own content and not by any outside preconceptions or expectations you, as a viewer, may be holding up to it. With this American interpretation (what is sure to be the first in a full trilogy) of the Swedish adaptations of the bestselling novels of only a few years ago, I did, perhaps unfairly, expect a certain amount of artistic reinterpretation to…you know…merit a re-make. I know, I know, merely gracing a story with the supreme beauty of the English language is reason enough to remake a respectable foreign film that Americans can understand without straining their little eyes on little subtitles. I thought that perhaps they might set the film in the U.S., reinterpreting the dark Scandinavian story to align with American culture more tightly. It would be every bit as unnecessary as this film, but at least it would be slightly interesting, and with slightly more artistic merit behind it. This film was so incredibly similar to the Swedish one that I honestly can’t think of any reason for anyone to watch it. Correction: the Swedish one didn’t have a sleek, CGI intro credit sequence culled from a James Bond intro/a Tool video. I enjoyed the acting performances a bit better from Daniel Craig than from his Swedish counterpart (name completely forgotten), and Rooney Mara does an admirable job of carving out a unique characterization of the eponymous Girl to hold her own against Noomi Rapace’s iconic take. I always have a soft spot for Stellan Skarsgård and my avuncular countryman Christopher Plummer. And, in another universe, one where no film adaptation had been attempted before this one, Fincher’s movie would stand as a nice little movie. Like the Swedish ones, I wouldn’t see a hell of a lot of point in wallowing over fictional evil for two (and a half) hours, but whatever. In this universe though, I kind of wished I’d skipped this one.


2 responses to “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (USA/Sweden/UK/Germany, 2011)

  1. Pingback: Panic Room (USA, 2002) | Offhand Reviews·

  2. Pingback: Gone Girl (USA, 2014) | Offhand Reviews·

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