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'Girl with Dragon Tattoo' offers deja vu [Trailer]

September 22, 2011 | 12:41 pm

A scene from 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

Intense and familiar are two words that come to mind upon viewing the extended trailer for David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," which of course tells of magazine-man Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) and hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) teaming up to solve a decades-old murder on a remote Swedish island.

There's tension galore, and plenty of distinct Fincherian touches, in the material unveiled Thursday for the English-language slated for a Christmas release. But from the story beats to the locations, there's also a feeling we've seen it all before. Which, of course, we have, in Niels Arden Oplev's earlier Swedish-language release.

The spot unspools the story pretty much sequentially. It takes its time setting up Blomkvist's and Salander's personal troubles, pauses as Henrik Vanger tells Blomqvist his assignment, then brings together the James Bond actor and the newly pierced one, both of whom cop convincing Swedish accents. (Interestingly, there are several glimpses of/allusions to Salander's lesbianism, though one of the more explicit shots of the heroine torturing her guardian, a shocking sequence in the original, isn't here.)

As Blomkvist and Salander get further into the mystery, clues and events come at us faster and faster until the trailer finishes in a barrage of quick cuts.

For those worried that Fincher would take too many liberties with Stieg Larsson's original novel or depart from Oplev's well-received first film, they're given little reason for concern here.

But does the faithfulness also work against the movie? Anxiety about deviation mutates into the opposite problem, the one gnawing at this film from the beginning: If Fincher hews too closely to what we've already seen, why do we need a new movie in the first place?

The deja vu problem is especially evident in Mara's performance. The actress holds her own in shoes previously filled by Noomi Rapace, channeling the Swedish upstart at her brooding best. That's a compliment, but it also means she doesn't really give us a good reason to watch the character again.


'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' begins to breathe its fire

'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' stars says there's plenty of room to improve on the original

For 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,' Sony takes page out of 'Black Swan'

-- Steven Zeitchik


Photo: A moment from "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trailer. Credit: Columbia Pictures

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