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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 Princess Bride: a beautiful princess is captured and her childhood sweetheart (now a pirate!) must embark on a quest to save her. What elevates this above all other films in this genre is a high-quality script that’s saturated with witty, understated and dry jokes that you could easily miss. There’s also some rather good action for a motherflippin’ fairytale – the swordfights are all decent – first proper one in particular is immense – and we get to see WWF star Andre the Giant get sleeper’d out!!!WTF!!! As you’d expect, the acting’s quite hammy – although Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) is an absolutely legendary comedy character – for expressions and use of language alone. There’s a cheap / budgety vibe given off by the sub-standard scenery and props; which combined with everything above creates more charm than most high-end films could wish for. The Princess Bride most reminded me of the fabulous TV series Blackadder in that its ‘historical’, hysterical in parts, and much smarter & aware than it first appears. Definitely one of the best anti / post-modern fairytales I’ve seen!

Score: 7/10

 

Hello. My Name is Inigo Montoya. You Killed My Father. Prepare to die