Critic Review - Film.com

What he has delivered is adequate, but it doesn't have any flavor - and of all the things Fincher is, "bland" is not usually one of them.

December 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Film.com | Comments (29)
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Facebook User

Facebook User

Did you watch the same movie as the rest of us? Oh this must be opposite day, in that case yes it was "bland".

Dec 21 - 05:54 PM

Bye bye

Steven Bailey

Or he just has a varying opinion and viewed this film differently from the rest of the world.

It's always fun to watch the RT crowd get their panties in a bunch over a negative review.

Dec 22 - 05:21 PM

Owen Frank

Owen Frank

haha yeah it is fun

Dec 22 - 08:10 PM

Shelby Minor

Shelby Minor

Bland? How much anal rape have you witnessed?

Dec 22 - 01:02 AM

Brandon Marshall

Brandon Marshall

The rape scene, unfortunately, was the only scene where Rooney Mara's acting was actually good. In the rest of the film, she lacked depth, attitude and demeanor. The film itself lacked character development, backstory and depth. The original was far more superior, a ten out of ten. This craptastic remake gets a meager two or three out of ten. And jesus, how could hollywood destroy the ending of this movie? A love triangle in that fashion? Really?

Dec 22 - 06:43 AM

Greg Nelson

Greg Nelson

This version was way closer to the source material. Because of Lisbeth's introverted nature we don't get much backstory on her until the 2nd and 3rd installments. The book does end in a love triangle which is an incredibly important development in the later installments. As for Mara's acting, she nailed this character 100%. Try reading a book every once in a while.

Dec 22 - 08:34 AM

Bye bye

Steven Bailey

He said that the Swedish version was better, sticking more closely to the source material doesn't determine the level of quality of a movie.

Dec 22 - 05:23 PM

Greg Nelson

Greg Nelson

I never said it did. I'm simply explaining why things were the way they were. It's not "Hollywood destroying a movie", it's sticking closer to source material. It's fine if you like the Swedish version more, but you should at least have intelligent reasons for doing so.

Dec 23 - 11:57 AM

Myra Arellano

Myra Arellano

But the Swedish film wasn't better.It had a lot of room for improvements. Score, custom design, make up, sound effects, sound editing, cinematography, direction and acting are far superior in this one. The budget is higher for this movie so every technical aspect that money could help to improve was improved. It doesn't hurt that this movie is closer to Stieg Larsson's vision of the world he created.
The Swedish version was originally meant to appear on TV for some reason they decided to use their footage in a feature film and since the story is so good and Noomi is so talented it somehow worked. But that film is way overrated. I usually hate when Hollywood mess up with my favorite films and books but in this case I'm glad they decided to film another version of the ORIGINAL story which appears in the book. Fincher and Mara nailed it. Even the worst of Fincher's filmography deserves is better than the Swedish take on the story.

Dec 23 - 12:04 PM

Robert Perkins

Robert Perkins

Myra A. we meet again. "The Swedish version is NOT better" is mere opinion. Don't try and force your opinion as fact here. That's like saying the John Wayne version of True Grit IS better than the remake. Or the remake is better than the original. Opinion? Yes. Fact? No.

Dec 25 - 05:24 AM

Cheyne Legris

Cheyne Legris

ROBERT, no-one is trying to 'force' their opinion. Myra actually backed up her thoughts. Did you? NO. Myra is right on as far as anyone is concerned. What's your beef with her anyways? make your point, you troll, just like I'm about to. Yes, it's all opinion, it's a movie that everyone sees differently. Can you explain to me how someone could actually make it a fact that it's better? It's not possible, so quit trying to say Myra or I am wrong because we're not making it a 'fact' that Fincher's is better. I would love to hear your retorts to my reasoning, which i will try to perfectly explain and back up with examples. Try that next time instead of trying to call someone out that their argument doesn't fully prove a film as superior. But you know what, I will try anyways.

i've seen both films, and FIncher's trumps it no doubt. First off, the look of the film is amazing. As another commenter said here, the original swedish adaptation was meant for TV, and looks like it, the color is flat and bland and the cinematography on the whole, is quite boring. Fincher filmed on the RED, and although the camera can't be credited for making a good work, it's what he does with the pictures he takes, it's how he edits them, Fincher's choice of locations and movement of the shots themselves .. the acting in Fincher's is also superior, Mara's performance is mesmerizing and electric, and watching the feature commentary, it's said that even the Swed's approved of Fincher's casting decision in her .. Fincher directs Mara in an amazing way, only twice do we see her even give a hint of a smile, and her distrust in men is palpable and succinct, but he still allows her a human flair, letting her fulfill her needs to feel loved, either by men or women. Daniel Craig brings his warmth and charisma to the mix, and they make a great team.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT IS NOT NECESSARY TO MOVIE PLOTS. It's a myth of cinema. Who wrote these rules anyways? Film schools who demand scripts be 120 pages and a three act structure? The best movies hardly ever adhere to this formula, although it is the most monetarily successful. I think it's a very adult film just because the character's are like real people, set in their ways and hesitant of changing. But you know what, there is still character development, and mostly in Mara's character. She comes to trust Craig's character, and then loses trust again.

Although Fincher's picture is still quite long, I was never once looking at my watch, the longer dialogue scenes were interspersed with some scenes moving at a quick clip, especially the montage like final sequence where Mara's character jets around emptying bank accounts under costume. The score is incredible, and although collaborated, Treznor's typical style come across strongest, know for his dark atmospherics that are haunting and perfectly appropriate.

As for a lot of people's complaint's that he didn't do anything new with it, well, good. An adaptation should adhere as close to the source material as possible, or should be taken in an entirely different direction. But since this film is based on a story that is supposed to take place in the modern world, he didn't and shouldn't have steered away from the source material. 'the hunger games' was a big disappointment because they steered away from the source material so much, and that's usually what happen when you try to take chance like that.

The story is perfect as it is, and just because Fincher's adheres closely to the swedish version that came before it, doesn't make Fincher's the inferior film. If Fincher had made it first, would it suddenly become the supposedly 'better' film just because of that? No. Hollywood did not destroy this story, Fincher breathed new life into it.

people: if you disagree with the critic, then make your point. don't just say 'you didn't watch the same movie' or 'what makes you a top critic' or 'you should never review a movie again' it's childish and an RT cliche. take this as a warning that the rest of us adults will mark your childish whining as SPAM.

Apr 30 - 02:30 PM

Josh Rosenfield

Josh Rosenfield

Acting cold and collected is not indicative of a lack of "attitude". The original was dull TV-movie-of-the-week fodder, with boring acting and an awful script. This is the cinematic adaptation that the book deserved. And the ending didn't show a "love triangle" in any way, shape, or form. Did you even see the movie?

Dec 22 - 06:53 PM

Will Hyland

Will Hyland

The ending of the movie was EXACTLY how the book ended. That's not something that can be fairly complained about. The Swedish version is also not the "original" movie, it's the "first" movie. Fincher didn't copy the first one in any way.

Dec 23 - 12:24 AM

Andrew StClair

Andrew StClair

No. Mara's acting throughout had depth, attitude and demeanor. Something Noomi Rapace knows nothing about....

Dec 25 - 09:37 PM

Tori Carson

Tori Carson

I think Rooney Mara did an incredible job in portraying Lisbeth. Being cold and reserved does not mean she lacks attitude. She hides her emotions, that's her character. Rooney Mara displayed this very well. I can see why some people may see this movie as "bland", because you have to read between the lines to understand it completely. It's more realistic than most hollywood films. I personally loved it, and I find it much more accurate and in-depth than the swedish version. I agree that Blomkvist was underdevelopped, but Lisbeth herself was perfect.

Jan 4 - 07:04 PM

C C.

C Carpenter

I thought her acting was brilliant, the best of anyone in the film. Let's not confuse subtlety and nuance with lacking depth or attitude. She did a remarkable job of telegraphing the character's pain and strength without overdoing it, which would have really done an injustice to the film.

Jan 7 - 03:33 PM

Sarah Habersberger

Sarah Habersberger

The book ends in a love triangle of sorts. The Swedish version changed the ending a bit from the source material. Erika Berger was not involved with Blomkvist at all, for example. I haven't seen the movie yet, but it could have actually stuck closer to the original narrative than its predecessor.

Dec 22 - 07:13 AM

Amy Painter

Amy Painter

This movie did follow the book closer and I did feel that Rooney Mara did a great job. However, there was a lack of connection between the characters that did make it feel somewhat 'bland' compared to the Swedish version of the film.

Dec 22 - 08:54 AM

Will Hyland

Will Hyland

"Bland?" This is the one of the few movies I have seen with anal rape, anal rape via crowbar, incriminating forced tattoos, and a full-blown rape/torture/kill chamber. All with beautifully shot camera work and a thrilling score. Yeah. "Bland".

Dec 23 - 12:26 AM

Robert Perkins

Robert Perkins

Actually, as far as an exploitation type of rape scene goes.. this film had very bland and relaxed one compared to some of the classics in the exploitation department.

Dec 25 - 05:26 AM

Eaten Soler

Eaten Soler

What else can you expect from a man with "D. Snider" in his name.....twisted man, twisted.

Dec 24 - 05:10 AM

Jacob Hopkins

Jacob Hopkins

A stark tone does NOT mean bland. Beautiful cinematography, motivated acting, and visual storytelling that never leaves a watcher lost are things to be valued. And if you have an idea for Fincher to "make (this) his own," shove it in your ass and sit down swiftly. This film was fucking wonderful.

Jan 2 - 08:02 PM

Ruthie Levy

Ruthie Levy

this is one of the craziest comments I've read thus far. The film was riveting.... i was fully engaged throughout the entire film... i thought it was stunning and full of flavor

Jan 3 - 11:05 AM

Regina Aguilar

Regina Aguilar

my heart was beating 100 miles hour through out the entire film. Best movie I have seen in years. I can understand why you think it is bland, but it is your opinion.

Jan 3 - 06:27 PM

Regina Aguilar

Regina Aguilar

can't*

Jan 3 - 06:28 PM

Eat the Meat

XXXXXX XXXXXX

This critic is correct. The film lacks personality and is bland. Although it may not have been intended, the film ended up an almost carbon copy of the first movie adaptation of the book. The latest adaptation was such a snoozefest I walked out 2/3s of the way in. I knew exactly where the film was headed so it didn't hold my interest at all. Fincher's TGWTDT suffers from being far too faithful to the book and not doing anything new or interesting from the first adaptation, based on the two-thirds of the film I watched (which is enough to give me a pretty good sense of the film as a whole). The rest of the film could be radically different from the first film adaptation/book and it still wouldn't be worth my time (and I can tell from the trailer it was not).

Jan 4 - 04:59 PM

Marcos Diaz

Marcos Diaz

Can you guys write SPOILER Jesus Christ man smfh...No consideration what so ever..

Jan 6 - 04:25 PM

John Doysabas

John Doysabas

Good for the people who didn't watched the Swedish version. Bad for the one who catched it. I certainly agree with this guy here.

Mar 6 - 12:58 AM

Barry Bozeman

Barry Bozeman

I own the Swedish versions, both the standard and extended, and have read the books and own audible versions of those that I've listened to twice.

It is very easy to become enthralled and interested in both Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara as Lizbeth Salander. Both do excellent jobs but Fincher gives us a more vulnerable and attractive Lizbeth and his ending to the film solves a great mystery that was left unsolved in the Swedish version since we see the American version of Lizbeth's reason for rejecting Michael on the screen.

The vastly different budgets give Fincher far more to work with and the result is worth the price. The Trent Reznor Atticus Ross soundtrack is excellent and the opening credit sequence is memorable and quite wonderful.

The stories of these three books and films have grown on me because of the Lizbeth Salander character. At first I was not so sure what all the fuss was about over the books but the further I got into it the more it stuck with me.

I anticipated this Fincher film version with great interest. That can usually lead to disappointment but this film did not disappoint in any way. I did wait to view it at home so I could really get into by viewing it at least twice and I cannot find anything to complain about or criticize negatively.

This one is a winner that has me excited about the sequels.

Jun 1 - 10:35 PM

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