Thursday, December 22, 2011

Movie Review: Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

The opening credits of the American version of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo are some of the most original, hottest, best I've seen since James Bond movies. Truly - the howl of a Led Zeppelin tune and the swirl of black is amazing. Trust me. You'll be drawn into this movie. Kudos to David Fincher, the director. I'll start with saying this movie is hard R - do not allow any children near the theater. Violence, sex, adult themes abound. That said - I've read the books (trilogy), seen the Swedish films (excellent with subtitles), and now I give this version a huge thumbs up.

Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is a journalist, currently on the outs due to a scandal. However, he's hired by Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) to investigate the forty year old murder of his niece, Harriet. The Vanger family is a mess - rich with Nazi history and no family member talks to each other even though they live on the same island. Trust me, there are issues. Martin Vanger (Stellan Skarsgaard) runs the business now and oh, is he twisted. Finally, Lisbeth Salander, our girl with the tattoo, piercings and goth hair (Rooney Mara in a transformational role) is a computer genius with social issues. There's so much more to her story - you have to read the books and see the movie.

The Swedish countryside is cold and forbidding. The search for a murderer is unrelenting. The performances are riveting. Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has many layers and is well filmed, well acted, and just really really good. No, not a happy Christmas family picture. But, if you want to think, feel, and experience a film - this is the one. Read Stieg Larsson's trilogy and see the movies. Quality abounds.

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