Wednesday, 17 March 2010

REVIEW: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

I think I made the point a while back that certain foreign films can sometimes be unfairly well reviewed simply because their cliches and faults come in a foreign accent, and thus are harder to recognize. And while the sniffier outfits have certainly been guilty of giving anything with subtitles critical fellatio, I don't understand this ideology. If seen enough subtitled films by now to not be phased or affected by them any more and judge these films on their own merits. And just as I was slightly bemused by the rave reviews Micmacs got a couple of weeks ago, I think its happened again here.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is not a bad movie, its just a little blunt. The film is a murder mystery at its core, and while the investigation zips along quite nicely, it feels a little hollow, and the climactic pay-off doesn't quite justify its two and a half hour running time, feeling a little so-so in part because the film took no real interest in its potential suspects beyond names on a piece of paper, instead focusing solely on the dogged reporter and his title character sidekick Lisbeth, played with a brutal detachment by Noomi Repace, is a side character in her own story, existing almost superfluous to events. So much so, that she is given a bizarre rape subplot at the beginning of the film, that comes and goes as if it never happened once she is involved in the main mystery. The film also makes some claim to be a character piece near its conclusion, but this rings false given what has come before too.

Maybe because bad TV has so cannibalized murder mystery, and turned even the smarter ideas into cliches, that if a movie doesn't come with another aspect to it then I'm just watching what I've seen a thousand times before with a Swedish accent. And that alone isn't enough to distinguish it for me. I enjoyed Repace's performance, but Michael Nyqvist's lead is a little dull just as the film can be when it overly focuses on him. It doesn't skimp on brutality, but that's not enough to set it apart for me. I came out quite disappointed. Which is a fitting way to end the review.

Rating: 6/10

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