The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo purports to be a stylish murder mystery but the movie’s shaky at best plot leaves you in no doubt that the real attraction to this tale is the compelling character study presented of Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara).
Salander is a young, iron willed sexually aggressive computer hacking savant, whose clad from head to toe in leather, and communicates mainly with dirty looks from behind heavily eye-lined intense staring eyes. Throughout the first hour of the movie we learn more about this fearless yet damaged 23 year-old by witnessing a tremendous level of perversion in which she is raped and violently sodomized before enacting her anal revenge on the miscreant using a steel dildo. Not long after she is seen to be indulging in a casual lesbian affair before journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) appears on the scene and offers her a research job.
Blomkvist has already been hired by Swedish magnate Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) to investigate the disappearance of his grandniece and is in need of Lisbeth’s skills to help solve the mystery of this decades old riddle. Much of the movie then takes place on a remote Swedish island where only the dysfunctional Vanger dynasty live, consisting mostly of corrupt businessmen, perverts or Nazis. At this point, the pace of the movie picks-up and sexual tension crackles between the two protagonists while they spend their time studying photos on their laptops and following a series of improbable clues.
The diminutive shortlist of possible suspects and glaring clues means that the murder mystery part of the story was less than compelling and ends rather unsatisfyingly. Whereas most films ultimately provide some relief by ending, just as you are expecting the credits to start rolling, there then follows an extra outrageous ending appendaged on of which the less said the better.
Overall, though, this movie may not have been a masterpiece but it was atmospheric, well-acted and above all included a fascinating central character who fitted well into the dark, bitter misogynistic world created by Stieg Larsson.
The Needless Tattoo Remake Which Drags On
- Rated: R
- Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
- Release Date: 12/26/2011
- Directed by: David Fincher
- Starring: Christopher Plummer, Daniel Craig, Joely Richardson, Rooney Mara
- Produced by: Ceán Chaffin, Ole Søndberg, Scott Rudin, Søren Stærmose
- Written by: Steven Zaillian (screenplay), Stieg Larsson (book)
- Studio: Columbia Pictures, Film i Väst, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Scott Rudin Productions, Yellow Bird Films