As not-so-boldly predicted, director David Fincher (“The Social Network”) delivers a superior remake of Sweden’s global hit “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” an adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s phenomenon of a novel.
What Fincher grants is a sharper, crisper look; a brisker pace; a richer supporting cast; and an instant classic of an opening-credits sequence. His suspense level isn’t noticeably greater, and even pales compared to the punch of his “Zodiac” or the shock of his “Seven.”
As disgraced investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist hired to solve a 40-year-old murder, Daniel Craig (“Cowboys & Aliens”) makes a stronger impression than Michael Nyqvist was allowed. As Lisbeth Salander, the brusque, socially awkward hacker Blomkvist hires as a research assistant, Rooney Mara (“The Social Network”) had huge combat boots to fill, following Noomi Rapace’s award-nabbing turn in the foreign “Dragon” and its two immediate sequels, but Mara commits and delivers.
If she’s not nominated for a Best Actress Oscar as deserved, it’s because the Academy is too stodgy to recognize such dark material. Her Lisbeth lives on Coca-Cola, Happy Meals, ramen, nicotine and pain, and makes an unforgettably stark impression.
big imperfection is the occasionally intrusive score by Trent Reznor
and Atticus Ross. Still, it’s hardly a reason not to look forward to the
Americanization of the trilogy’s remaining chapters.