Caution Contains SpoilersRape, and a Forty-year Old Murder Case
Now, before I begin this review let me clear some air here. First off this is not the remake of the Swedish film version, this is the US version of how the book is interpreted to the US. Secondly, I have not seen the Swedish version, and thirdly yes I have read the book. Now, that that's all straighten out time for the review.
The movie's opening starts out as a messed up Gothic/Geeky James Bond opening. People are covered in black ink, and being strangled with deadly cell phone cables. Birds come out of peoples eyes, and a big black dragon appears from no where towards the end of the sequence. And of course the music helps the weirdness with the "immigrant song" playing in the background the entire time. This was certainly a freaky, and haunting opening, but it was to awesome to ignore. It was a very creative opening, and was a visual assault of awesomeness on my eyes. After the confusing opening the movie starts off with, the rest of the tale is told in a calm, patient, and very disturbing manner.
The Girl With the Dragoon Tattoo is basically about investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) who gets accused of making false accusations about a corrupt businessman. The trial that Mikael has to go through could threaten his career all together. In this harsh time of his life Blomkvist gets an offer from a wealthy industrialist (Christopher Plummer) to investigate a forty-year old murder that has haunted him since the day it happened. In return to finding the killer Mikael will be given all the info about the corrupt businessman he's working on that will ultimately save his career. Mikael accepts the offer, and eventually enlists the help of Lisbeth Salandra (Rooney Mara), or more popularly known as "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo", together the two go through a case that leads to some harsh, and disturbing findings.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is directed by one of my personal favorite directors David Fincher. You may recognize some of his movies like Se7en, Zodiac, and The Social Network. I've watched all three movies by the way, so I really like his style. Visually this movie is absolutely amazing. There is no point in this movie where it slacks off at all. It's brilliantly paced, and definitely keeps the R rating. I say that because this is a very graphic movie. In the book Salandra gets raped twice, and the movie shows that happen in all of it's disturbingly graphic detail. It's one those kinds of scenes you want to wash your eyes out from. The book was bad enough, but the movie made it worse. I mean it is necessary to show them though, since after all it was in the book. The violence in this movie like the rape scenes are very intense, and powerful, and really put you in the action of the movie. This movie was so well done that when it ended, I was disappointed I had to leave the theater. The movie goes a little over two and half hours, so it's long, but so well paced as I said earlier, that you never find yourself lost, or bored during the movie.
The acting in the movie is very well done, Mara stole the show with her performance as Salandra. It was also neat to see Daniel Craig out of his comfort zone of testosterone induced action movies. Instead of playing the buff, non-wimpy action hero, he plays as a more average guy just trying to deal with the decisions he's made as a investigative reporter. Craig performed very well, and in my opinion this is one of the best movies I've ever seen him in. The most memorable scenes that I loved in this movie were when Salandra, and Blomkvist really get into the investigation process. It's a quiet scene in which neither characters talk, but the focus on the photographs, and trying to figure out things with the characters is so awesome that voice work is not needed.
I loved the book, and I love the movie. In fact, this is probably one of the best book to movie adaptations I've ever watched. So, if you find yourself in the peculiar situation that you can't find the time to read the book, then have no fear the movie is very accurate. I mean of course it's not completely accurate to the tee, and it does have some plot wholes never FULLY answered, but all in all it's an excellently performed, directed, and filmed movie. If you're a fan of the books I recommend you watch this movie.
I give The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo a 4.5/5. Oh, and I don't recommend this film for young kids due to how graphic it is in both nudity, and violence.