Claire Foy, the ever-glum Mrs Neil Armstrong in the very recent 'First Man', here takes over the mantle of Lisbeth Salander in this latest addition to the 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' series of films - and she makes a fair stab at it without setting the world alight - though can'r say I relish the thought of having to sit through another of these with their trademark deeply unpleasant violence.
This time the film is based on a novel from David Lagercrantz using characters created by the late Stieg Larsson, the snow-laden Stockholm location once again providing the backdrop for the familiar topics of incest, vengeance, double-crossings, chases, gunfights (where all the baddies are hopeless shots, unlike the female protagonist who's deadly accurate every time) with the usual workings 'outside the law' to the extreme displeasure of the police - and here also involving sibling rivalry/hostility and the targetting for kidnap of a young nerdy boy who's as proficient with computers (well, they can all operate at the speed of light!) as he is at chess.
Despite being such a heady mix there's a pervading ho-hum feeling of deja vu throughout, which left me wanting something more and a bit different, and which it just doesn't deliver.
Much of the cast, judging from their names, are probably Swedish. Apart from Foy herself, the only other name I recognised was Stephen Merchant (best known to British audiences as sidekick to Ricky Gervais in his TV series) here playing, for the first time in my seeing, a serious role.
Others include Sverrir Gudnason as journalist Mikael Blomkvist who played a major part in the original trilogy of books and their films - and Sylvia Hoeks as Salander's arch-nemesis sister.
Director is Uruguayan Fede Alvarez who does precisely what you expect him to with reasonable flair, though nothing more.
I've read the original Stieg Larsson trilogy and seen those three Swedish films as well as the American re-make of 'Dragon Tattoo', the latter though not having quite the bite of the European original version wasn't too bad either. This new one, which didn't engage me at anything like the level of those four films, I wouldn't put in quite the same class, though it's not totally dull either.....................5.5.
(IMDb.......................6.1 / Rott. Toms.............5.1)
39 minutes ago
Kind of off-topic, but, this annoys the heck out of me in TV and film these days ...ReplyDelete
"where all the baddies are hopeless shots, unlike the female protagonist who's deadly accurate every time"
It bugs that the hero[ine] can shoot and hit anyone while those after the hero[ine] couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.
All films adopt this cliche, Bob, so I'm not surprised that it's pervasive on TV too (TV is a medium I don't watch much other than current affairs and news). Funny how these people in gunfights are so expert in every single way excepting when it comes to hitting their target, where it seems they should have had as much practice as the quarry they are after clearly had. Bah!Delete
"The ever glum Mrs Armstrong" reminds me that The First Man will soon be or is now in Austria. Mrs G has decided we're going to see it. So, I've reread your review and am now looking forward to it despite "the ever glum" one. Thanks.ReplyDelete
I also saw it and liked it more than Ray did, Gwil. I wrote about it briefly one day.Delete
My "ever glum" comment, as you no doubt realise, G.W., refers to the character Foy plays - a right 'misery guts', which may well have been an accurate portrayal. When I read later that she and Armstrong got divorced it wasn't such a surprise to me. If so, she really is the film's 'dead weight' that Armstrong has to carry around all the time.Delete
I thought Foy was brilliant as Mrs Armstrong, and also as Lisbeth Salander today.Delete
Somewhere in Blogland we recently spoke about the indominatable walker Wainwright and I said, which is true, he'd taken up walking the Lakeland fells etc. in order to spend less time with his wife but to go to the moon that's a different league altogether.Delete
Rachel, for me Claire Foy lacked something of the 'oomph' which her predecessors in the role of Salander provided, Noomi Rapace in the original Swedish film and, though less so, Rooney Mara in the American re-make. I dare say that if I hadn't seen those two I might have had more fulsome praise for Foy's portrayal.Delete
I can't recall the music score, which is unusual for me in that I tend to be negatively hyper-sensitive to that aspect, especially when it's intended to nudge one's emotions in a certain direction or it gets in the way of the story. Perhaps the fact that I didn't notice it indicates that it worked effectively.
Foy WAS good as Mrs Armstrong. It was just the fact that that downbeat, sultry character kept distracting from the science of the mission, which was what I most liked about the film, which got me irritated. But that's not reflecting any fault on her acting.
I think I will go and see this later today. I liked the Dragon books but have never seen any of the films. I also like the way Lagercrantz has carried on the writing in, to me, a pretty much seamless way, although I know this view is not universally shared. I think his writing is as good, if not better, than Larsson.ReplyDelete
I can't say that on the strength of this film I can muster up enthusiasm to read the Lagercrantz, Rachel . However with your comment that his writing "is as good as, if not better, than Larsson" you've captured my interest, so I may well give it a go.Delete
Maybe your not having seen the 'Dragon Tattoo' films will mean that you'll be more favourably disposed towards this. I hope it turns out to be so.
I am just home. I adored the film. I am glad I had read the book first, possibly made it easier for me to follow, I probably would have struggled without. It kept to the book and it was all as I would want it and more. I also loved the film score and would watch it again just to hear the music.Delete
I am sure if I had seen the other films it would have made a difference. So I am more or less the odd one out as everybody else who is a fan seems to have seen them. As for the film score. I just love cellos.Delete
Now I'm wishing I'd been more attentive to the soundtrack, though the very fact of it having been unobtrusive to me must say something in its favour. Now have to wait till it comes on telly - by which time it's a certainty that I'll have forgotten.Delete
Noomi was fantastic as lizabeth I thoughtDelete
She was indeed - though I've got a nagging thought that it helped a lot by her being the first in the role who we saw.Delete
I was going to see this today Raymondo but chose fantastic beasts insteadReplyDelete
I've just written on your own blog that my interest in seeing 'Grimewald', which was going to be today, has quelled somewhat, and it wasn't great to begin with. Still may, though - but as at now feel disinclined to.Delete
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