Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

How does David Fincher's American remake stand up against the original Swedish movie and Stieg Larsson's book?

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker.

Who's In It
Daniel Craig - for me, much more personable than the Mikael Blomkvist in the Swedish original
Rooney Mara - The girl from Fincher's other excellent movie, The Social Network. She was also in the recent A Nightmare On Elm Street remake, though the less said about that, the better. Click on her name to see what she usually looks like.
Stellan SkarsgÄrd! An actual Swedish actor in the film
Christopher Plummer - an epic actor with too many films to mention
Robin Wright! The ex Mrs. Sean Penn
Steven Berkoff! Most fondly remembered by me for his villainous roles in Octopussy, Beverly Hills Cop and Rambo II in the 80's. 

What I Thought

I was a bit apprehensive going into The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo having seen the three Swedish original movies (see the bottom of this page) but director David Fincher has done a great job by keeping very true to the original.

The opening sequence is very Bond-esque, featuring two computer generated bodies writhing in black liquid and flies flying out of the eyes, all to the music of Trent Reznor's cover of Immigrant Song, originally by Led Zeppelin.

The movie follows the book quite closely, with the setting still intact in the fictional island of Hedestad. A few characters from the Millenium office having less screen time to keep the pace and momentum up. Fincher does a good job of flicking back to the past to show how the events of the missing girl played out, all with a subtle hue to indicate days gone by. The renowned rape scene looked like it may not play out in full, but before you know it, it all gets very visual. When Lisbeth later exacts her revenge, the dial is cranked up a notch as she takes out her fury.

Both Craig and Mara do a great job in their respective roles and the chemistry between the two is believable.

It is however the ending when those of us who have read the book will get a bit confused, as it differs in this movie. Make sure you pay attention and dont talk (like I was) when the final scene comes and the location of the missing girl is revealed.

At 158 minutes in length though, make sure you have a comfy seat as you'll be sitting watching The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo for almost 3 hours!

Memorable Quotes
  • He's had a long standing sexual relationship with his co-editor of the magazine. Sometimes he performs cunnilingus on her. Not often enough in my opinion.
  • "Can I have one?"
    "A sandwich?"
    "No, a scotch"
  • "Oh I forgot to ask you, do you like anal sex?"
  • "May I kill him?"

4/5 - A surprisingly good remake

The Trent Reznor (NIN) music and flashing images in this make for an extremely effective teaser trailer

If You Liked This, You May Also Enjoy

The original Swedish trilogy

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Girl Who Played With Fire
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest


  1. I've yet to watch this Hollywood adaptation, much less finished reading the original novels BUT I have watched the Swedish movie adaptation of the trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so that I've watched it twice around.

    1. Yeah the Swedish trilogy was brilliant! Looking forward to seeing Noomi Rapace in Prometheus


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