The Swedish original trilogy is the only version of this story that interests me and its success is the only reason why other directors decided to direct either remakes or other entries in this series of films. Fincher has style with little substance and it seems like the director of this film does not even have that. Too bad.
This movie fails on almost every single level if you view it only as an entry into the Millennium series. It treats itself like a sequel to the 2011 version, yet it confirms through dialogue that it skips over the other 2 books. You feel so dirty watching the opening credits because it carries over the exact same style that Tim Miller created. Plus, it lacks the social commentary on society's treatment of women that is always present from the first 3 books.
However, if you treat it as a pulpy, 90s Thriller throwback, this is actually a really entertaining movie with some great action and set pieces. Foy does wonders with the material she is given, but it does not hold a candle to Mara's interpretation. Alvarez actually does a really good job; he's no Fincher, but I really enjoyed the visual flare he brought to the story.
If I had to point fingers at why this failed, I blame it on the producers for their grotesque vision for the franchise. It fails as a reboot because the ghost of the narrative it skipped looming over it, and it chooses to be something that does not represent what the books were about. However, if you divorce yourself of continuity and take this movie as a singular story that begins and ends, it is not hard to discover something enjoyable. I can see myself watching it again.
I saw it last night (finally hitting UK this week) really enjoyed it and I dug the whole alternate take on Lisbeth being more of a Bond/Batman type hero - it pales to Fincher/the originals obviously and they shouldn't even really be compared as Fede is going for a different take but for every more out there thing Fede slips in something from Fincher like that title sequence and you're like COME ON.
Also it's really edited within an inch of its life without much breathing room. There are some cool touches that were in the trailers that weren't there too. And that's not to mention the cast which is otherwise great but some like Krieps or that Secret Service lady were just in it too little.
Ultimately though, as Blair said, I can see it being a great sort of movie night at home flick.
Also something that got me thinking - that speech from the trailer about how Lisbeth makes a point to help women....like we see that in her first scene after the title sequence but if they're already changing a lot from the books by making her a hero why not just genderbend Merchant's character.Just kinda feels icky that they make a deal about all that and then the centre of the story is (don't get me wrong Merchant was cool in this) a white guy. Ties into that lack of social commentary from the books that Blair mentioned.