The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Reviews
I hope they do the other 2 movies
from her family's isolated island estate in Sweden after a provincial fair.
Today, Millennium magazine's crusading investigative journalist Mikel Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) emerges from a gruelling high-profile court case after receiving a hefty fine and a fatal blow to his credibility for running a corruption story on businessman Wennerstrom (Ulf Friberg) which turned out to be false.
Interrupting his self-flagellation, Blomkvist is surprisingly sent for by one of Sweden's wealthiest industrialists and venerable business tycoon Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer).
Obsessed in solving the 35 year old mystery of his lost grandniece Harriet before the elderly patriarch's own death, Vanger commissions Blomkvist to investigate 'the most detestable people imaginable' consisting of Nazis, rapists, alcoholics, murderers; his dysfunctional family.
But before Vanger even considered the diminished careered writer, his security firm engaged a professional but unorthodox young hacker, Lisbeth (Rooney Mara) to run thorough background check to intimately personal detail.
Bi-sexual, multi-pierced, heavily tattooed and steely faced, Lisbeth is a true product of the system. A troubled punk-chick who bears the scars of being a ward of the state since the age of 12 and lumbered with a legal guardian who demands sexual favours, repeatedly violating and abuses her, Lisbeth is no-one's victim.
Utilising her weapons of intelligence, resourcefulness and unparalleled technological abilities, the distrustful and ruthless girl finds her way out of any situation. When the morally scrupulous Blomkvist's investigation hits a wall, Vanger engages Lisbeth and her gifts to dig deeper.
As the duos paths intersect they uncover dark secrets, attract deadly danger and each other whilst unearthing some ugly revelations.
This intricately dense and edgy thriller is a film of substance. An English remake by director David Fincher of 2009's Danish director Niels Arden Oplev Swedish adaptation of Stieg Larsson's best-selling Millennium trilogy, this is a story with a great sense of place, intriguing relationships and an enigmatic central character.
Although some seduced by the novel or the original film may not feel the need for an English reworking and dismiss this film as just another Hollywood money grab, it does in fact stand alone with decidedly different strengths.
The marvellous pop-culture character Lisbeth; originally portrayed by the wonderfully commanding Noomi Rapace who inspired fear and awe, is now played by Rooney Mara. With just as much impact but with a more quiet intrigue to her presence, Mara delivers both innocence and volatility in balanced measure.
Blomkvist, pioneered by Michael Nyqvist now replaced with Daniel Craig is perhaps the only casting misstep. Not due to Craig's acting; which surprisingly is very good, but his age. The chemistry between Craig and Mara is palpable, but with the age gap almost 10 years closer, it doesn't deliver on the same level of emotional complication as depicted in both predecessors.
Plummer's Vanger is pitch perfect and Stellan Skarsgård brings gravitas and cultural credibility to his role as Martin Vanger.
The Scandinavian cultural setting is was crucial to the ambient tone, cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth captured the inert chill of Vanger's private island brilliantly. The enthralling 158 minutes of running time spans emotions from curiously clever forensic detail to a disgustingly justifiable graphic and harrowing rape scene without lagging.
The Verdict: With a slick intensity, The Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo English version holds a place in its own right amongst the Millennium mythology, congratulation's to a film maker who didn't feel the need to drown a great story with underlying cultural conventions.
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 20/01/2012