Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011 US Version)

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're at least somewhat aware of this title.  Perhaps you read the book; the first of the wildly popular Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson.  Or maybe you saw the subtitled Swedish films, released in Europe in 2009 and in the US in 2010.  Or possibly you just heard about it, because of all the hype surrounding it ever since lauded film director David Fincher ('The Social Network', 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', 'Zodiac', 'The Game', 'Seven', 'Fight Club') became attached.  Well, I've now seen it and I'm having a hell of a time grading it for the very reason that so many people have so varying levels of familiarity with the material.  I just don't feel like one grade fits all for this one.  Personally, I haven't read the books, but I've seen the Swedish film twice, and I must say I really don't understand why this remake was even necessary.  Sure, I get that people don't like to read when they watch TV, but maybe they should try it sometime.  Because, while this version is good, and will undoubtedly enthrall audiences with no familiarity of the story, the Swedish version is better.  I just don't think Fincher nailed it, like he generally does.  It doesn't flow from scene to scene like the original.  And it's so similar, and the cast so closely resembles the existing version, I just found it difficult to keep from getting bored.  Frankly, it's just too soon for such a close remake.  (Kind of like when they remade 'Death at a Funeral' a mere three years after the original, both in English, and both with Peter Dinklage!  But I digress.)  Of course, if you haven't seen the original, and you do like disturbing material, and you really, really don't want to read subtitles, then by all means go see this movie.

Oh yeah, and if you do decide to see either version, a few words of warning:  They both have ultra-disturbing scenes of violence.  (Not gory, mind you, but graphic.)  And they're both over two hours and thirty minutes.  So make sure you've gone to the bathroom and snacked up ahead of time.

Grade if you've already seen the Swedish version:  B-
Grade if you haven't seen and refuse to see the Swedish version:  B+
Average Grade: B


  1. I thought all Sweded films were under ten minutes and starred Jack Black and Mos Def.

  2. I know it will be good but not sure if I want to invest that much time into it when I've already seen the Swedish ( better ) version. I didn't see Let Me In which was another remake of a Swedish movie for the exact same reason.

  3. Actually, the American remake 'Let Me In' is even better than the Swedish original 'Let the Right One In'. So you should see it. I actually thought about that after I posted this review. It would have been a better reference than 'Death at a Funeral'. Good call, TMcGPhilly.