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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4


Movie review by David Blackwell


158 minutes, rated R


STUDIO:  Columbia Pictures/ MGM/ Scott Rudin Productions/ Yellow Bird Films/ Film Rites/ Ground Control

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  12-20-2011


STARRING Daniel Craig (Mikael Blomkvist), Rooney Mara (Lisbeth Salander), Christopher Plummer (Hanrik Vanger), Stellan Skarsgard (Martin Vanger), Steven Berkoff (Frode), Robin Wright (Erika Berger), Yorick van Wageningen (Bjurman), Goran Visnijc (Armansky), Joely Richardson (Anita Vanger), Elodie Yung (Miram Wu)

WRITTEN by Steven Zailllian (screenplay), based on the novel by Stieg Larsson

DIRECTED by David Fincher

Mikael Blomkvist is convicted of libel against big corporate head Wennerström.  The magazine Millennium (that he founded with editor in chief/ long term girlfriend Erika Vanger) is in dire straits.  Blomkvist is offered a job by Henrik Vanger to find out who murdered his niece Harriet about 40 years ago.  Meanwhile, anti-social computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Mara) is experiencing her own problems with her new guardian Bjurman and she is soon drawn into helping Blomkvist solve the mystery behind the disappearance/ possible murder of Harriet Vanger.  


THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is a fascinating novel which was the first of three finish novels (of a ten novel series) by the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson.   The three novels were originally adapted into the Swedish TV series MILLENIUM and reedited into three theatrical films.   I'm still more of a fan of the raw Swedish adaptations.  I think the characters were better cast in the Swedish adaptations.   No matter how hard Rooney Mara tries to portray Lisbeth, she doesn't quite channel the detachment and distrust like Noomi Rapace did in the Swedish adaptation.  It might be partly due to the screenplay by Steven Zaillian as Fincher's movie takes more liberties with the book than the Swedish version ever did.  


What Fincher's version does is present a better directed and shot version of the novel while it also takes away from raw feeling that the Swedish version showed off.  The main problems I have with this adaptation is that it is an over glossed version with casting that isn't as strong and a script that doesn't show the bond between Lisbeth and Mikael like the Swedish version did.    No matter how I did enjoy Fincher's take, I did find flaws that are hard to ignore.  The score is moody and sometimes menacing while the script still does not present a strong adaptation of the novel.  The dynamic between Blomkvist and Salander isn't as strong while Blomkvist is shown more as a bully at times.  Salander is more open and methodical in this version while I missed the closed down emotions of Rapace's version of Salander.  Mara's interpretation is too emotional and at sometimes Lisbeth feels too much like a normal young woman. 


Then Daniel Craig is just weak as Blomkvist where I love how Craig plays James Bond.   Blomkvist is too active in this version of the novel while it seems the Fincher version looks to make Salander less of an active person in the investigation of Harriet Vanger.  I liked how the Swedish version showed how they got together and worker together.   One of the changes I didn't like in the Fincher version is have Blomkvist's daughter discover what the numbers and names meant in the back of Harriet's diary.   Lisbeth found out about that.   As much as people making this adaptation liked the character of Libeth Salander, I don't think they understood who she is and sought to change her where she doesn't need to be changed.   The Swedish adaptations understood who Lisbeth was and so did Noomi Rapace (who still owns the character of Salander through her far more nuanced portrayal).   In the end, David Fincher's adaptation is a flawed take on the novel.   If you haven't seen the Swedish adaptation, check it out and don't be afraid it has subtitles.


this review is (c)12-23-2011 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com