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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.

Score: 7/10

Review of the original


The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest: final part of the Millennium trilogy, following on from the Dragon Tattoo and Played with Fire. Continuing the downward trend, this looks and feels as bland as most TV movies – 0% cinematic and very little excitement or tension. The plot slowly meanders down two paths: a rehabilitation / courtroom saga for Lisbeth and yet another investigation for Mikael. It’s far, far too long (147 mins) given how little the plot progresses and how pedestrian the story is. While the acting’s still great and there’s a tiny bit of steam left, the focus here is entirely on wrapping up the 2nd film; which was already well below the brilliant stand-alone whodunnit, Dragon Tattoo. Most telling, even when walking out of the cinema I could only recall a handful of good scenes. Fire and Hornet could probably be edited together, cutting out all of the bloated story & characterisation and focusing on the excitement and drama that’s been so diluted in these behemoth instalments. The Fincher re-makes will have trouble competing with the first film, but the other two are his for the taking. A dreadful final chapter, and for closing up a tale that’s over 7 hours long the ending was such an anti-climactic disappointment.

Score: 3/10