DRAGON TATTOO Opens Tomorrow

After months of promotion, the English-language, David Fincher-directed version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opens across the country tomorrow.

According to the site Rotten Tomatoes, 82% of the 34 “top critics” give it a favorable review (although a few are a bit grudging).

Many of the reviews compare it to the earlier Swedish-language film (Time‘s critic Richard Corliss, says, it’s “like getting a Christmas gift of a book you already have”). A few hark back to Stieg Larsson’s original:

L.A. Times 

One reason Salander is catnip on the page is that she is anything but in real life. Antisocial when she’s not downright furious… she is fierce, furtive and feral…..[but the movie’s] cold, almost robotic conception of Salander as a twitchy, anorexic waif feels more like a stunt than a complete character, and so the best part of the reason we care enough to endure all that mayhem has gone away.

New York Times

Critic A.O Scott is also a fan of Lisbeth on the page, describing her as “Tiny as a sparrow, fierce as an eagle…one of the great Scandinavian avengers of our time, an angry bird catapulting into the fortresses of power and wiping smiles off the faces of smug, predatory pigs”  and believes that lead actress Rooney Mara, “…captures her volatile and fascinating essence beautifully.” He is not so enthusiastic about the book’s plot, however and feels “Larsson’s heavy-footed clumsiness as a storyteller” harms the movie. The changes from the book to the screenplay just show “…how arbitrary some of Larsson’s narrative contrivances were in the first place”  and the movie suffers from “…long stretches of drab, hackneyed exposition that flatten the atmosphere.”

Whatever the critical verdict, the publicity surrounding the movie continues to bring new readers to the book. Libraries are still showing holds queues.

It’s not certain whether Fincher will direct the next movies in the trilogy. At a recent press conference, he said he hasn’t been signed yet; “Classically, movie studios don’t make deals with directors, even if there’s a hope that there’s going to be three [films], because they want to make sure you behave.” He did, however, go on to say that if he were to direct the next two films, he would shoot them both at once. He also noted that the Dragon Tattoo shoot was “incredibly draining” for Rooney Mara because of all the “naysayers” who thought she was the wrong choice for the role.

Below is the trailer for the Swedish-language version:

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