5-Word 365 #001 – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

In mid-December I got drunk and thought it would be a good idea to watch a new movie and review it, every day of 2012. These won’t be as in-depth of some of my other posts, but if I make it three weeks it’ll be a damn miracle.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

A good film, well made.

If you had to describe the difference between David Fincher’s movie and Niels Arden Oplev’s original adaptation in just one word, it would be cinematic. No surprise really, when you consider that the Swedish version was made for television before being released internationally, but still, Fincher and his screenwriter on this one, Steve Zallian, have done a hell of a job distilling this 533 page novel into an effective movie. It’s not as visually arresting as some of his other films, in terms of impossible angles and such, but it doesn’t need to be. What it is, is a good pulpy novel presented as an effective thriller.

Rooney Mara is astonishing as Lisbeth, but it would have been nice if Daniel Craig had at least tried a Swedish accent like everyone else, unless he did and it was shite so they made him stop…

Most of you will now that the story is pretty downbeat and goes to some dark places, but the flick wasn’t as grimy as the trailers implied. It doesn’t glamourise what is happening, but neither does it fetishise.

except, uh, this

If I had to complain, it would be about the fact that the two leads don’t meet until over an hour in to the running time. Until that point, Lisbeth seems like an unrelated B plot in her own movie. This is true to the structure of the novel though, and I personally can’t think of how it could have been done otherwise but hey, grumble grumble.

So, one down, 364 to go. Oh shit, this is a leap year isn’t it?


  1. CMrok93 · January 3, 2012

    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.

    • Ryan McNeely · January 3, 2012

      Thanks for commenting dude. Yeah, I enjoyed the original. That’s the problem with remakes and adaptations: they will always be held up against the original version and it’s almost impossible to look at them as separate things. I prefer to have that frame of reference though, as I mentioned in my Mechanic post. I think it’s doubly important if you’re going to be writing about the flick as well!

Go ahead, punk. Make my day.

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