The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Review

David Fincher, who brought you so many movies that you know you loved, remakes The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. First book of a trilogy written by Stieg Larsson, and made into movies first in Swedish and now Americanized. Staring Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, and plenty of familiar faces. Soundtrack put together by the amazing Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, the score is fail proof. Also a small easter egg in the movie, but one of Salander’s hacking friends has a NIN shirt on in one of the scenes.

The movie is very dark, if you haven’t done any research on it, and by research I mean read the book or watch the original movie which is streaming now on Netflix, then you won’t really have any idea what is coming. The story is about financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist being hired by Henrik Vanger in order to solve the mystery over 40 years old. Eventually teaming up with Lisbeth Salander, a super hacker/researcher, in order to track down the killer and solve the mystery that has plagued this man for a long time. Having read the book, I knew exactly what to expect. And if you have tried or are going to attempt to try to read this book before seeing the movie, then you know or must be informed that it does take FOREVER to get into the actual story. It took me 13 hours to read but damn I wanted to kill myself in the first 150 pages because it was going nowhere. Thankfully they skip that whole opening in the movie and condense it all throughout so it isn’t the dry boring chunk of reading you have to do.

Rooney Mara makes a stunning transformation, going from the beautiful stunning girl that she is, to a dark haired girl with pale eyebrows, tattoos, piercings, and a darker history. Her character on paper is one of the most fascinating characters that I have read about, and she makes you just as curious on the screen. Be known that there is a very very graphic scene involving her character that may be hard for some people to watch. I was lucky enough to score a pass to an early promotional screening and was among a sold out auditorium, and the response to the scene was as expected. Daniel Craig was fantastic as he usually is in his movies. But the movie is going to be Mara’s breakthrough role, expect big things from her, she was fantastic. And as off-putting as her appearance in the movie may be, she will probably be one of my favorite characters I’ve read and watched.

The movie is close to 3 hours, so easy on the drinks before you walk in, because while it’s not one of those movies where if you miss something you are lost forever, you won’t want to tear your eyes off the screen because it’s a work of art visually and audibly. The opening title sequence is something of a work of art. If you can figure out what all it’s showing, then you’ve likely read the books. Pay attention and see if you can figure it out by watching the movie. It’s genius.

Final note, if you did read the book or see the original Swedish version, be aware they made major changes to the story and altered the ending immensely.

8 / 10