The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Sony), the American version of the Swedish bestseller directed by David Fincher, is a darker, richer, far more compelling adaptation than the original Swedish version. Yes, after all those years of complaining about uninspired remakes of European films, we actually get to see a more accomplished and more interesting version stateside.
Technically you could say it’s not a remake so much as a new version of the best-selling novel by Steigg Larson, which is true enough. It was a book before it was a movie, and Lisbeth Salender was a dynamic, defining character before Noomi Rapace made her flesh in the original film. Fincher goes another way with the iconoclastic character: Rooney Mara is a less commanding and ferocious presence than Rapace, but she is more guarded, unpredictable, and ultimately more dangerous. And, let’s face it, she’s the one that really charges the story, not journalist Mikael Blomkvist (played by Daniel Craig).