Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Review - 2½ Stars

David Fincher’s American version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” launches the career of Rooney Mara—whom many noticed in the opening scenes of “The Social Network.”  As the spike haired pierced computer genius center of the popular Swedish crime novels, she makes the central character of this story completely her own. Mara’s performance gives the best reason to see this remake of the already well made Swedish films.  Unfortunately if, like me, you already read the book and saw the Swedish films, this new American version doesn’t add much new or interesting.  Daniel Craig does fine as the writer who begins the story losing a libel suit thanks to a trap set by a crooked financial guru.  Hired by a prominent family to solve the 40 year old mystery of a young girl’s disappearance, Craig takes the job on the promise of new information which could clear his name.  The girl in the story comes on as a researcher/investigator/computer genius.  While this plot develops, we learn her back story, which includes brutal rape and harassment by those appointed to protect her.  The American remake features scenes even harsher than the Swedish version and feels exploitative.  The plot, coming the third time around if you read the book and saw the original movie, feels clunky and rushed.  Two more films follow this story with high expectations that I imagine will be hard to meet.  Does it deliver what it promises?  The same thing in English.   Is it entertaining?  Long and dark.  Is it worth the price of admission?  A great performance, but otherwise disappointing.