The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher, 2011)

What's it about? Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is asked by wealthy industrialist Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) to investigate the disappearance of his niece 40 years previously. He is helped by troubled, bisexual, computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) and together they turn up some very disturbing findings about the Vanger family. Sex, violence, technology and sadism ensues, sometimes all at the same time. If all this sounds familiar, it probably because you have already read the phenomenally successful book it's based upon or seen the Swedish film adaptation.


Is it any good? It's good, but not great. I found it slightly better than the original Swedish version (read my review of that here), but it's still not without its flaws. The cast are all good with Craig suitably solid and Mara revelling in such a juicy character, even if she doesn't quite make the impact Noomi Rapace did in the Swedish counterpart. It's all put together assuredly enough, but it's looooong and probably too slavishly adapted from the book. The first hour in particular could have been tightened up as it takes an eternity for the two leads to get together. If you're familiar with the story, then the suspense of the key reveals will be undermined, but even the uninitiated shouuld be able to figure out at least some of the surprises, which lessens its impact as a thriller. Ultimately, whilst it's all watchable enough, I found myself thinking it strange that a film featuring such elements as serial killing, rape, torture, sadism, sex, a lesbian sub-plot, Enya and Jim Robinson from Neighbours was all rather unexciting. I mean, we're talking Jim Robinson here! Then again, it could be all relative - I've had a busy and eventful couple of weeks myself.

I don't trust you. What do others think? It's been reasonably well received and stands up as a rare example of a US remake of a European film that can stand alongside the original. And that will come as welcome news to Columbia Pictures, who have plans to adapt/remake the other two instalments in the trilogy. Looks like Mara won't be giving up that diet and nipple piercing any time soon.

What does the Fonz think? Think Zodiac meets Se7en meets The Social Network. Not as good as any of those though.

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