Thursday 29 December 2011

The Girl With The Dragon Tat, Two

Opening with a balls-out brilliantly bonkers Bondesque title sequence that's surely the year's best, David Fincher's possibly-redundant version of every commuter's must-have accessory immediately announces its intention to take 2010's Swedish interpretation back to the Ikea returns desk and swap it for a new, slicker, upgraded model that'll convince us all that Hollywood remakes of foreign films are the only possible way forward for an industry almost bereft of new ideas.

What we get, disappointingly, isn't the reinvention of the wheel but a new wheel that does much the same as the old wheel, only without whatever the wheel equivalent of subtitles is. I should probably have thought that analogy through a bit more before I started but I've been on holiday and haven't quite remembered how to do clever metaphors yet. Hey ho.

Fincher's direction is typically classy and, predictably, he gets the goods from Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the former of whom spends a distracting amount of time with his glasses dangling under his chin like some kind of spectacle-beard. Still, it could have been worse:
And while it's a serviceable whodunnit for anyone unfamiliar with the book or previous film, it still can't justify either the hype created by its source material's omnipresence or the need for a new version in the first place. There are no shocking twists and no groundbreaking additions to the genre, and when all the answers are revealed it's hard to care a great deal thanks to a baffling assortment of suspects spread over three generations, many of whom it's often tricky to remember which are meant to be alive or dead.

A lengthy, tacked-on epilogue we didn't really need ties a couple of things up in a way that suggests Fincher and co aren't too fussed about finishing the trilogy, which is a shame because although The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo fails to sufficiently surpass its equally good forebear, any potential sequels would effortlessly erase the memory of the disappointingly abysmal Swedish parts two and three.

Still, never mind. We'll always have this.


  1. It’s certainly worth seeing if you missed the original. If you saw it, however, there’s no way of unseeing it, and nothing in the new one to top it. Craig and Mara are great here though and Fincher brings so much more to this film like I was expecting too. Good review.

  2. The subtitled award winning Dutch film 'The Vanishing'(1988) was nerve jangling and disturbing. The 1993 USA remake with bankable stars Jeff Bridges and Keifer Sutherland was a pale pathetic pointless attempt to emulate the riveting drama of the menacing Dutch original. I put my three movie hates in the following order.
    1) Trailers
    2) Remakes
    3) Sequels & Prequels

    Note for The Incredible Suit. Analogy is a Sacha Baron Cohen character. Clever Metaphors have all been used up by Jeremy Clarkson to describe his bottom gear.

  3. @ Tony the remake of "The Vanishing" was terrible. They should issue some sort of medal for sitting through that.
    However, I enjoyed this GWTDT remake better than the original. Fincher speeded up the glacial pacing of the film which was a big plus. In addition to this I found Mara to be huge upgrade over Rapace.
    As an aside that 'Immigrant Song' cover is the bee's knees.