Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Ho Hum, it’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I suppose the time has come for Trailerspotting to address the promo for David Fincher’s upcoming adaptation of Stieg Larsson‘s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. We don’t get to see the film until Christmas, but enough has been shot for …

Sun, Jun 5, 2011, 19:52

   
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I suppose the time has come for Trailerspotting to address the promo for David Fincher’s upcoming adaptation of Stieg Larsson‘s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. We don’t get to see the film until Christmas, but enough has been shot for Mr Fincher to issue an undeniably nifty teaser trailer. If I hadn’t seen the original picture this would — despite the fact that teasers tell you nothing about the forthcoming product — have got me modestly excited about Finchy’s take on the Scandinavian detective tale. I have never really “got” Trent Reznor and that mumbly Karen O from the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs drives me positively barmy (Oh Lord, that horrible up-itself soundtrack for Where the Wild Things Are), but their take on Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song proves to be a quite satisfactory accompaniment to a film that seems, on this evidence, to be a sub-Arctic version of The Dark Knight. Look at it. James Bond runs through the woods while your one out of The Social Network speeds on her bike and the indomitable Christopher Plummer lurks sinisterly in the shadows. Hang on. It’s Stellan Skarsgård. Why, the only person more at home to entertaining scenery chewing is Steven Berkoff. There he is! It’s Berko! This is bound to be a lot of fun.

Yeah, maybe. I haven’t read the book, but, on the evidence of Niels Arden Oplev’s Swedish take on the tome, the text comprises yards of endless exposition loosely bolted to a detective plot that — until the second of its eight endings — would have worked modestly well for an episode of Inspector Morse. The Scandinavian film wasn’t bad. But it didn’t exactly break any new ground.  Now, you couldn’t say that about the sequels. The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest were so smothered in uninteresting plot that they ended up seeming vaguely experimental. And let’s not get started on the dubious representations of sexual violence and the dated, bourgeois notions of what constitutes outsiderdom (oh, that crazy Lisbeth with her “punk” hairdo and, good grief, tattoos).

Anyway, if, when Fincher’s film is released, folk start going on about how the stupid American version cannot compare with the more intelligent, more subtle Swedish picture then I will take to screaming crazily at the uninterested clouds. I mean, obviously, it might be a worse film. We currently know nothing worth knowing. But there really was nothing big or clever about the Nordic version. Just because it’s in Swedish doesn’t mean it’s Cries and Whispers.

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