There’s been a lot of debate over David Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The international bestselling book from late author Stieg Larsson was already adapted into a critically-praised, box-office hit Swedish film; so when it was announced that Sony Pictures was moving forward with their own “Hollywood” version of Dragon Tattoo, fans of the Swedish film were unsurprisingly critical of this new version – before they even saw one frame of the extensive preview footage that has been released.

Now that the American version of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is ready to pack theaters during the 2011 Holiday season, the question looms large: Was this second interpretation – made barely two years after the release of the Swedish film – a worthwhile venture?

Today we have an early review of Fincher’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo that may (or may not) help you answer that question for yourself.

The review comes from New Yorker critic David Denby, who produced his Dragon Tattoo review as part of a double-shot piece that Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s upcoming comic book adaptation, The Adventures of Tintin, which also releases right before Christmas. Let me just say as an aside: there couldn’t be two bigger polar opposites for your Christmas 2011 movie viewing than Tintin (a whimsical children’s adventure tale) and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (a disturbing tale of mystery, sadism and murder). Anyone brave enough to do a double-feature viewing will likely walk away with severe bi-polar disorder. But I digress…

Here’s a bit of what Denby had to say about Fincher’s vision of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo:

You can’t take your eyes off Rooney Mara as she plays the notorious Lisbeth Salander…Directed by David Fincher (working with Steven Zailian’s screenplay), this is a bleak but mesmerizing piece of filmmaking.

This is only a snippet of the review, of course – for a longer excerpt you can head over to the New Yorker; for the full breakdown, you’ll have to either subscribe to the site or pick up the issue of the magazine.

Despite the knee-jerk reactions that any and all American remakes, reboots, or re-interpretations are somehow unnecessary, dumb-downed “Hollywood unoriginality/idiocy/laziness,” it was hard to doubt that David Fincher (a man renowned for dark noir-themed films like The Game, Se7en, Zodiac, Fight Club and Panic Room) would do anything less than good with this adaptation of Dragon Tattoo. It’s already been well established that the Oscar-nominated director knows how to handle this type of material – and his more recent films (Benjamin Button, The Social Network) have only shown greater maturity and technical precision – a fact the big award shows has recognized several times over.Even the music in Fincher’s films (specifically Dragon Tattoo, and Social Network) has been lauded, thanks to smart collaborations with talent like Nine Inch Nails mastermind, Trent Reznor.

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

That’s all to say: Fincher is in a great place in his career, and no matter who made a film before him, chances are Fincher will leave a distinctive stamp on the material if he chooses to take it on (see: his upcoming remake of Disney’s classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea).

Even the music in Fincher’s films (specifically Dragon Tattoo, and Social Network) has been lauded, thanks to smart collaborations with talent like Nine Inch Nails mastermind, Trent Reznor.

One opinion is in; we’ll all be able to join in the discussion once The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo arrives in theaters on December 21, 2011. Check back then for our OFFICIAL Screen Rant review.

Source: New Yorker