With so much out there to see this Holiday Season it was definitely hard to decide which films to see over my Holiday break. So with much deliberation I ended up seeing Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol as well as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. If you're like me and are mulling over what you want to spend your nine bucks a ticket on then hopefully this helps you decide!
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
I ended up seeing the latest installment of the Mission Impossible franchise on Christmas day which (side note) I feel is becoming more and more of a Christmas tradition for a lot of families. After seeing the previous MI a few years ago and really enjoying it I was expecting a lot of the same fun and action that I loved so much about the last one and I must say, from Tom Cruise at scaling the tallest building in the world in Dubai to an epic car chase in a sandstorm, it delivered!
What I also really enjoyed was how easy the plot was to follow and it was also cool to see Michael Nyqvist who you may recognize from the Swedish Dragon Tattoo films show up as the villain. From the bad guy in Abduction and now this I feel like Nyqvist may be our new go to villain as Christoph Waltz was for a while.
As far as supporting characters Paula Patton was badass as Agent Carter and Simon Pegg definitely delivered some good laughs and Jeremy Renner the biggest new addition to the franchise delivered an exciting performance and is rumored to possibly be taking over the MI franchise after Tom Cruise finishes his reign as lead agent Ethan Hunt.
Cruises' performance was pretty standard and I must say I felt a little queasy at times as he was scaling that building and going blow for blow with Nyqvist but overall it wasn't too memorable which may be for a reason as he may be looking to slowly fade out of the MI dynasty. He plays a great straight man and his stunt work is definitely impressive but I think it would be more interesting to see him training agents rather than being in the field which has been hinted at a little in MI3.
Overall, I give this film a C+ for being a ton of fun to watch and hopefully hinting at more good stuff to come from the MI franchise!
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
This film is something that without question was on my list to see! I had read the book and saw the Swedish version and was curious to see David Fincher's (The Social Network, Zodiac) take on the first installment of the popular book trilogy. At first I wasn't really sure of the point of an American version so soon after the popularity of the Swedish version (except for not having to read subtitles). However, there was definitely a point to this film and a well executed one at that.
First off, the film was an adaptation of the book and not the Swedish film which altered the books events slightly. And another thing to look forward to was that it wasn't just any director who was taking on this project, it was Fincher and to add to this he had already established a relationship with his lead actress Rooney Mara who plays Lisbeth Salander.
Speaking of the cast, it couldn't have been better! Daniel Craig looked great as the ambitious and brooding Mikael Blomkvist. There were also appearances from Stellan Skarsgard who is the father of True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard and rounding out things was Joely Richardson who many of you may know from Nip/Tuck and is a fantastic actress!
The plot follows the books' scenes to a tee and is flawless at doing so. The movie is shot fantastically and I really enjoyed the opening which I won't spoil for you guys. The music provided by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross while not as useful at driving the movie as it was for The Social Network provided a great background to the drama.
In the end, I believe the biggest controversy surrounding the film will be which Lisbeth was better Mara's or Noomi Rapace's who played her in the Swedish films. And quite honestly, that's a hard question to answer. And while both played the role incredibly well, it came down to the emotions that came through on screen and they were more powerful for me coming from Mara than Rapace.
Now while the film was intriguing and engaging despite it's length (2hrs and 30min) I think the only problem that really arose was where to end it. It seemed as though there may have been some uncertainty about this issue and therefore making the film feel as though it could have ended in a few different places toward the end. But after much deliberation I really enjoyed how it ended and give this film an A for a really great depiction of this famous book.