The first David Fincher film I saw was Alien 3. Or should I call it Alien cubed? I thought it was an interesting take on an already tired franchise. Fincher was busy during the nineties. On the heels of the Alien installment, he released a new film every couple of years. Seven, The Game, Fight Club and Panic Room all came in quick succession, and seemed destined to establish Fincher as a kind of Kubrick or Hitchcock for the Generation X cohort. Or was it Generation Y? It’s so difficult to keep track of the algebraic nomenclature used pop by sociologists.
But his career in the new millennium has been rather mixed. On the Scott WMT (Worth my time?) meter: Zodiac, yes. Benjamin Button, no. The Social Network, no. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, maybe.
Still, while he makes the occasional misstep, it’seems been no more so than say, well, Kubrick or Hitchcock. Or Sidney Lumet. Or Steven Soderbergh. Or Howard Hawks (weren’t some of those late westerns dogs?) Or John Huston (think Annie, or Victory, or The Kremlin Letter). And more than some of those illustrious names, Fincher has been pretty consistent about maintaining a recognizable, for lack of a better word, style, a term which I think encompasses everything from visual presentation to thematic treatment to the visceral feel of a film. Fincher has what all distinctive directors have: a highly evolved cinematic sensibility. Which is what brought Hitchcock and Kubrick to mind.
And now, with Gone Girl, he looks poised to register on the Yes side of the WMT meter again. Starring Ben Affleck (who seems to have found his metier, both as an actor and a director, in the crime genre), and Rosamund Pike (one of those actresses so distracting to look at, you can’t really tell if she can act), the film kooks at least compelling enough to download free from a bit torrent site. Just kidding!
Now I haven’t read the book — I never read books that seem destined for Hollywood — but you can read a review in the online Vanity Fair here. Caution, it’s a plot spoiler on steroids. The trailer gives away almost as much, but a bit more cryptically. Enjoy.