Director: David Fincher
Writers: Steven Zaillian
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgaard, Joely Richardson and Christopher Plummer
Lisbeth Salandar has become this icon in modern fiction that represents the continued mainstreaming of geek culture. Well, not in the traditional Bazinga sense. More in the awkward outcast trying to use their unique sensibilities and find their way in the world. She’s a geek in the modern carnival take, as she uses her hacking skills to keep her fringe position well established. There are times in the movie where we feel like we’re being forced to watch her decline, so that she’ll accept Daniel Craig’s bullshit later in her life.
Most Americans will never read the books. I don’t care that they’re getting Dan Brown levels of penetration, they’re still not going to catch on. So, I’ll give you a plot breakdown. Daniel Craig works at a popular social magazine called Millennium. A local business magnate helps to set him up in a Dan Rather style story where Craig is made to look like he was lying. After losing the libel case and paying out all of his worldly wealth, an older Noah Cross type asks for Craig’s help. Thus, we enter the world of wealthy old Nazi types with tinges of incest and bondage.
I feel like I’ve spent most of the last two weeks talking about this film rather than writing this review. At one point, there was a plan to turn this into a multi-media Mr. Plinkett style review to cover my disappointment. I could go on and on about how Fincher and crew missed the point of Lisbeth and totally let Vanger get away with the final crime. There’s also the whole issue of not knowing when to end the movie and allowing for such weird emotions in the finale. Plus, what are we supposed to think of a movie with two anal rapes that pushes for a forced relationship?
Everything being said, the film revealed to me that I don’t actually care for Daniel Craig outside of the comforts of Bond. While Craig might not be the best actor in the world, he’s proven capable enough in Bond and Layer Cake. What we have here is a miscast lead trying his best to keep with the pace, but just getting hammered by Richardson, Skarsgaard and Plummer. It’s not even funny how badly the supporting cast overpowers Mara and Craig.
That being said, what we have is a film that is still well directed and it holds together as an adaptation. But, the sense of editing is weak. A murder mystery is a cliched thing, but in the right hands…there needs to be some sort of tension. Tension shouldn’t come in the form of Skarsgaard blasting Enya in an enclosed room. You’ll hear a lot of people making excuses for the flick, as no one wants to fault Fincher for this film. But, it’s a disappointment. Suck it up and move on.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!