Friday, June 04, 2010

Spy vs.Spy

Jose here.

Assuming you've seen the excellent The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (my review here)...

Who's your favorite, book-to-screen, spy so far this century?


Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander (as played by Noomi Rapace).

OR


Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne (as played by Matt Damon).

Discuss!

For all you European readers who've already seen the entire Millennium trilogy how does it fare when compared with the amazing Bourne series? How do these two fare when compared to the books?

9 comments:

Colin Low said...

If we're talking greatest book-to-screen spies, why is the character attributed to his/her actor and not his/her screenwriter?

NATHANIEL R said...

we only get two choices????

I take Bourne but only because I don't know Noomi yet ;)

Liz said...

I don't mean to go off-topic here, but did anyone else think that "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was a pretty terrible book? (No spoilers ahead)

Ridiculously bloated, way too many subplots, interchangeable supporting characters, and a male lead who is clearly meant to be an idealized version of the author himself. Charming superstar journalist with who attracts women left and right? Give me a break.

Not to mention that I found the book's violence very unsettling. The message seemed to be, "Violence against women is bad, and I will prove it by giving you every graphic, lurid detail of multiple violent encounters." Borderline exploitative, really.

The movie was somewhat better, because they were able to trim some of the book's fat, and the actor who played Blokvist made the character a lot more interesting than in the book. But they kept the graphic violence and the subpar murder mystery.

Nat, I really hope you see this movie, because I would be interested in hearing your take.

adri said...

Do we only get 2 choices? We can't pick someone like Mads Mikkleson (ah, Mads) in "Flame and Citron"?

Whenever I see the Bourne movies, I think what a great job they've done with those awful books (I've read them) but I keep mentally re-casting Matt Damon. The movies make him look good, but he's just not that interesting an actor. Why oh why did they kill Franka Potente off?

And I'm going to give the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo a miss. I've come to the point where I'm not interested in seeing violence towards women on screen, no matter artistic or well-reviewed the film is. I've seen enough, think of something different.

Liz said...

"Why oh why did they kill Franka Potente off?"

adri, I completely agree! I thought she and Matt Damon had smoking chemistry, and from what I understand, she didn't die in the book. I'm not opposed to making changes from books, but I still thought there was a place for her in the movies (although the overall arc would have changed somewhat).

I was really sad when she was killed off

Jose said...

Colin: noted and changed.
Thanks for the heads up!

Nat: I was thinking about these two in terms of how they're both trilogies adapted from bestsellers made after 2000 (I don't think there's any other right?)
You MUST see these movies, I know you love action heroines with an edge just as much as I do.

Nick Duval said...

The Bourne films (namely "Identity" and "Ultimatum") are thousands of times better than "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," which I pretty much hated. It was the dull mixed with utterly appalling.

Lisabeth Salander and Jason Bourne both have harsh backstories. Bourne is much more magnetic, as his films were so much more engaging than the listless "Tattoo," but Salander is a lot better at finding obscure things out, and perhaps more deep because you don't really know what she's all about. As Nathaniel said, it may be a little different once you know everything about both characters.

Hard choice.

Roz said...

I think the Bourne series was better executed but when it comes to character and story i'm going with Millenium trilogy. Lisbeth Salander is a far more interesting character than Jason Bourne and i enjoyed the story much more. Noomi Rapace was just so freaking amazing to watch.

Volvagia said...

Fincher sees something in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. That's big. I actually see him as the nearest possible descendant to John Huston, as opposed to Hitchcock or Kubrick. (Big expressionistic angles, minimal roles for women and work with straight faced thrillers (Alien 3, Se7en + The Game/The Maltese Falcoln, Across The Pacific + The Battle of San Pietro) early in their careers before easing a shift outside (Zodiac, Ben Button + The Social Network/The African Queen, Moulin Rouge + Beat The Devil), soon, but not immediately (The Asphalt Jungle/Panic Room), after giant "statement" films (The Treasure of The Sierra Madre/Fight Club). Hitchcock never moved out of thrillers/horrors and Kubrick...his best stuff (The Paths of Glory-The Shining run) was "liberal art" at it's best. (Lesson of Paths of Glory = The Law is not perfect, Spartacus = Collective Sacrifice is better than personal gain, Lolita + A Clockwork Orange = Sexual Freedom is preferable to forced sexuality (Lolita) or forced anti-perversion (A Clockwork Orange). 2001 = Why not experiment with Drugs? Barry Lyndon = Greed doesn't make you powerful. It makes you evil. The Shining = The family is an unreliable construct.) Fincher's just a vehement anti-extremist. In other words: A deep impact centrist (Se7en is anti Christian Conservative, The Game is anti obscene richness, Fight Club is anti anarchist liberal, Panic Room is anti-fear, Zodiac could be taken as a celebration of the middle class without a liberal "call to revolt" and Ben Button celebrates the possibility of beauty in oddity.)