The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: essentially an English language, scene for scene, character for character and detail for detail re-make of the Swedish original film adaptation. The over-stylised James Bond-esque opening credits paired with NIN industrial techno Led Zep remix are fantastic, and promise something fresh/new; unfortunately the rest of the film fails to deliver as it copies almost everything from the original. Most annoyingly, it’s still set in Sweden and full of Europeans talking in ‘svee-deesh’ – it’s like watching a professional dubbing of the original. Character-wise, Daniel Craig is good, but Nyqvist has the edge as the flawed idealist journalist; Rooney Mara is very watchable as Lisbeth Salander, but it feels like a good imitation of Rapace’s portrayal. In all honesty, both pairs of boots were almost impossible to fill. The rest of the cast deliver, but again, have very little room to put any new stamp on the characters. As a stand-alone film, it is good (although it would have been hard to mess up sticking to the original). All is not lost though, as the 2nd/3rd Swedish films weren’t perfect, and have far more room for improvement. As someone who saw and loved the original, this lacks any of the impact that the modern twist on the classic murder mystery had – this just feels redundant and unimaginative. Expected a something better from a director of David Fincher‘s calibre.
Review of the original
Black Mirror: (3 Episodes) nihilistic social commentator and comedian Charlie Brooker’s latest TV drama Series. Despite each episode being set in a different reality, time and having different casts; all stories impeccably balance being realistic yet bizarre, believable yet surreal, sensible yet satirical, controversial & shocking yet engaging & thought-provoking. The series takes things from the present, twists and warps them until they’re barely recognizable, then throws it up on the screen as a cautionary tale, highlighting where these things can, have, or are going wrong. The casting and acting in particular are outstanding; production is ridiculously high and very slick – this is clearly something that has aimed exceptionally high from the planning through to post-production stages. The first two episodes are fantastic, however the finalé feels more like a single afterthought stretched to the limit – it’s still good, but has by far the least to say about the fewest subjects. The 15 Million Credits rant is among the most powerful and affecting TV moments I can remember watching. TV is undoubtedly where Brooker and his opinions shine brightest – I’ve started two of his books but finished neither due to page after page of brutal insults becoming rapidly tedious. On the whole, Black Mirror is darkly satirical, riveting and massively unsettling, this could well be the important thing you’ll see on TV, but don’t read anything else about it as there’s spoilers everywhere; hunt this down and make your own mind up.
Episode 1 – The National Anthem: The UK Prime Minister must meet a bizarre demand in order to free a kidnapped princess. Satire and commentary of newsrooms, politics, social media and the fickle public.
Episode 2 -15 Million Merits: a numb dystopian future where people work for merits and spend on useless rubbish. Scathing critique of reality TV, talent shows, free-to-air adult channels, consumerism and where our lives may be heading.
Episode 3 – The Entire History of You: anybody can have a chip that will replay any memory on demand… but that’s not always a good thing. Stand-alone sci-fi idea, definitely the odd one out.