***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
To prepare myself for the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I watched the 2009 Swedish version in order to compare them. Believe it or not, there isn't much different between the two except this one is in English (yet, somehow still takes place in Europe--thankfully the entire country transferred all their newspapers, documents and language) and, of course, the cast and crew are different...duh!
|Even in a pair of Harry Potter glasses, Daniel Craig is more handsome than I am.|
If you caught my review of the Swedish version, you know the story is about a publicly shamed journalist who is hired by an older gentleman trying to discover the truth about a loved one's disappearance years ago. Is she dead? Did she join a cult or did her homeplanet call for her return? He doesn't know, so he hires Mikael Blomvist to find out the truth. While digging for said truth, he ends up teaming with an eccentric goth girl named Lisbeth who, after handling some personal shit in her life (personal being a rapist pig in charge of her finances) helps Mikael...and since this is a movie, the truth they discover is much more frightening and dangerous than the fact the girl went out for smokes and got lost for 30 plus years.
|Congratulations Fincher, you made the already hard to watch rape scenes in the original|
even worse in this.
For the most part, not much in the form of storytelling has changed from the Swedish to the American version, however, the presentation by director David Fincher, music from Trent Reznor and an amazing cast made this film the superior of the two--and don't think for one second I like this one more because it's American and in English. I have no problem reading subtitles and I don't listen to Toby Keith so I don't automatically get patriot with everything that is American comes out. In fact, this is a rare case where I actually enjoy the domestic remake more than the foreign original.
|"It's not a phase...this is who I am!!!"|
YES! Re-used a joke from my review of the original!
|I don't know what freaky shit these guys are into|
but count me in!!!
That sequence pretty much sets the bar high for the entire film!
|I was going to write a joke but I got|
lost in Daniel's eyes.
|Christopher Plummer...can I adopt you to be my grandpa?|
Backing up Craig is Christopher Plummer as Henrik Vanger, the man who hires Blomvist to find the missing girl. Plummer has a stellar career so you know he's going to kick ass going into it but matching Craig's performance on the amazing scale is Stellan Skarsgard. Watching the scenes he and Craig shared together was like watching two dragons battling! It was both beautiful and amazing at the same time...with just a hint of malice to boot!
|Stellan is an amazing actor and his name is even cooler!|
The only real complaint I have about the film would be having Rooney Mara play Lisbeth. In the original, Noomi Rapace was the eccentric goth girl with the rape problem (being raped is a major problem!) and she did the job great--but so does Mara. The major difference is Rapace is a little easier on the eyes. Mara's skeleton-like body and lack of eyebrows actually started to frighten me a little...but she still performed her role great and made the character of Lisbeth more of a social outcast than Rapace's performance.
|Fincher solved the biggest problem from the original...the existence of eyebrows on Lisbeth.|
With Fincher behind the camera, Reznor behind the keyboards or whatever the hell he is using to make his awesome music and a cast that consists of amazingly talented actors like Daniel Craig and Stellan Skarsgard performing an already interesting, engaging and often disturbing story, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one of those EXTREMELY rare occasions where the American remake is better than the original.