Tuesday, January 10, 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

I can't remember a movie that covered up its flaws with unnerving, edge-of-your-seat entertainment value as neatly as David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo did. I'd go as far as saying that this might be his most enjoyable film to date, but let's first talk about those flaws which kept it from earning a perfect grade. The opening title sequence was atrocious. Just because you know the guy who made all of Tool's music videos, doesn't mean you have to hire him to work on your live-action movie. Also fairly atrocious: Robin Wright. Thankfully she didn't have much screen-time. When doing a remake of a foreign picture, or any movie where the audience is watching characters speak in one language with a heavy accent as a way of representing the fact that they're 'actually' speaking a different language, you have to be careful that the accent is consistent across the board. Everyone pretty much nailed the sound they were going for in lieu of Swedish, except Wright, who badly butchered it by trying too hard.

You could also get into the believability of the plot, and how tidily (or not) everything was resolved in trying to keep this already-long movie under three hours. I haven't read the book(s) or seen the original movies (which debuted on Swedish TV in 2009) so I have nothing to compare it to. There was a lot going on for sure, and I have to believe Fincher attempted to wrap it up as best he could, unsure of whether he'd be making more movies or not (this seems uncertain). For this reason, and the fact that Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Stellan SkarsgÄrd and especially Rooney Mara, are so damn good, I really can't/won't nitpick.

For whatever reason, I went into the theater with tempered expectations and was more than pleasantly surprised. If it wasn't clear before, it's obvious now that Fincher has cemented himself in that can't-fail category of directors. Even his misses (Panic Room, Benjamin Button) are usually entertaining/interesting enough. There are few working (mainstream) filmmakers who you have to go see on the big screen every time but Fincher is most certainly one.

SCORE: 9 out of 10

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