INCLUDE_DATA

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2011 remake) review

Posted on January 4th, 2012
Posted on January 4th, 2012

By Coop Cooper

Set in modern-day Sweden, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is a high-profile journalist publicly disgraced after failing to expose a corrupt business baron. The patriarch of a wealthy dynasty (Christopher Plummer) hires Mikael to investigate a 40 year-old disappearance of a niece in return for information that could clear Mikael’s reputation. When Mikael’s investigation reveals he is on the trail of an elusive serial killer, he enlists the aid of the brilliant, yet antisocial computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), to help him analyze the cryptic evidence.

Based off of the sleeper-hit novels by the late Swedish author, Stieg Larsson, “Dragon Tattoo” was adapted into a 2009 Swedish film with the two remaining sequels filmed back-to-back. The films became an international success and propelled Noomi Rapace (the original Lisbeth Salander) into the Hollywood A-list, securing her first English-speaking role in “Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows.” Regardless of the success of these films in the U.S., Hollywood is never one to pass up on remaking a foreign-language hit.

I attempted to watch the original, foreign version of “Dragon Tattoo” when it released but I quickly lost interest in its snail-paced plot, convoluted storyline and a lead actor who had the charisma of a sea sponge. While many of my friends and family became fans of the books and film series, I tuned out. I did agree that Noomi Rapace had the chops to become a big Hollywood star, but I didn’t see any need for a remake, nor was I excited by the prospect. Fortunately, Academy Award-winning director David Fincher took the helm of the remake and hired an all-star cast, resulting in an Oscar-caliber film which vastly improved upon the original.

Daniel Craig proved to be the perfect choice as Blomkvist. While the character isn’t a dashing spy like James Bond, Craig adds a touch of class and charisma lacking in the original “Dragon Tattoo.” In fact, all of the acting is above top-notch. The real standout is Rooney Mara who eclipses Noomi Rapace as the quintessential Lisbeth Salander. Mara gives such an exceptional performance, I expect her to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

The character of Salander is the primary reason to watch this film and become immersed in the series. Her technical brilliance and punk exterior compensates for a severe social awkwardness (supposedly caused by a lifetime’s worth of abuse) that makes her both dangerous and fascinating. In the final twist of “Dragon Tattoo,” she reveals her true talents as a mastermind and in the process, completely shatters any previous expectations of her character’s personality. I suspect after the film adaptation of the final book releases, Hollywood will find a way to keep Salander active.

The film has a few flaws. “Dragon Tattoo” suffers from the most obnoxiously pointless opening credit sequence I’ve ever witnessed. Like the opening titles of a James Bond movie, “Dragon Tattoo” takes a butchered version of Led Zepplin’s “Immigrant Song” and places it over bizarre images of characters made of a black oil substance grotesquely morphing into various horrific tableaus. It’s as if the film’s experimental composer, Trent Reznor, had said, “Hey, this is the kind of music video that made me a popular alternative musician back in the 90’s, therefore I refuse to work on the film unless we begin it with a surreal gothic music video!” It’s a severe misstep that only detracts from the story and the film’s already overlong 158 minute runtime, which could have benefitted from a large amount of trimming.

Dragon Tattoo” is still one of the best films of the year and I hope Rooney gets her due come award season. She single-handedly compelled me to look forward to the continuing adventures of Lisbeth Salander in the two upcoming sequels.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

No Comments •

Comments

Search
Search Form
Trailer for the award-winning short PRISMA…


A corporate promotional VHS tape from 1984 conceals a brain-altering signal which is said to grant increased health, longevity and psychic powers to those who watch it. View at your own risk...

WINNER: SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, 2017 Oxford Film Festival

WINNER: BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

SEMI-FINALIST: 2017 NanoCon International Science-Fiction Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST ANIMATION, 2017 End of Days Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST GRAPHICS, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2017 Nightmares Film Festival
2017 A Night of Horror Film Festival
2017 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
2017 Oxford Film Festival
2017 Crossroads Film Festival
2017 Clarksdale Film Festival
2017 Twisted Dreams Film Festival
2017 Tupelo Film Festival
2017 NanoCon International Sci-Fi Film Festival
2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival
2017 End of Days Film Festival
2017 Grenada Afterglow Film Festival
2017 Shiver International Film Festival
2017 Southern States Indie FanFilmFest

Trailer for the lost short GOD MAKER…


Northern Mississippi 1932:
In a cabin in the woods, a blind blues guitarist will discover his destiny from a lovesick goddess who seeks to corrupt his soul.

GOD MAKER remains unfinished and in limbo for now, but the trailer expresses the mood and imagery intended for the project...

Coop’s award-winning 48 hour short film trailer for REGRESS…


Told in reverse, this experimental made-in-48-hours film begins with a shocking murder then backtracks (like a viewer rewinding a VHS tape) to reveal the chilling origins of this tragedy.

WINNER: BEST SHORT FILM at the 2013 Clarksdale Film Festival...
NOMINATED: BEST DIRECTING by the 2012 48hr. Guerrilla Film Challenge (international contest)...
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Crossroads Film Festival

Watch Coop’s award-winning short film THE BEST DAY…


WINNER: 2012 MAGNOLIA FILM FESTIVAL "Best Homegrown Film"
WINNER: 2012 SEATTLE TRUE INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL "Best Scream"

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2012 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CROSSROADS FILM FESTIVAL
2012 NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI FILM FESTIVAL
2012 ATLANTA INDIE HORROR FILM FESTIVAL
2012 OTHERFEST
2012 MISSISSIPPI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
2012 SUN AND SAND FILM FESTIVAL

Morgan Freeman asks Coop a question at THE BEST DAY premiere! Video below…


My short film THE BEST DAY premiered in October 2011 at the Delta Cinema in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Little did I know I had a special guest in the audience who was about to ask me a question during the Q&A. Yep, I got a little flustered when I saw who it was.

The Small Town Critic’s SCREENWRITING SERVICES
Follow Coop on Twitter...
    follow me on twitter
    Follow smalltowncritic on Twitter
    Archives
    Subscribe via Email!

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    Subscribe via RSS feed!