The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Political journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) has just been released from prison, wherein he was serving a short time for making falsely proven claims against successful businessman Hans-Erik Wennerstrom (Ulf Friberg). With his reputation in tatters, Blomkvist accepts an offer to lay low for a while, looking into the family history of Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), specifically the disappearance of Vanger’s granddaughter Harriet from their remote family island 40 years ago. Meanwhile Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), the young, socially isolated hacker Vanger hired to research into Blomkvist’s background, has to deal with her own personal issues – a new, abusive, government-appointed guardian for one – before she too becomes an integral part of Blomkvist’s case. Continue reading

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

6 years ago Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy took the world by storm, so it was only a matter of time before movies were made, and even less before Hollywood came a-knocking with a US remake, due to hit cinemas this Boxing Day. David Fincher is a perfect fit for the source material, as he revels in the darkness and shadows of those living on societies outskirts, so hopefully he’ll do a better job of it than Niels Arden Oplev in this Swedish original. Understandably when transferring a book to the screen, especially one as dense as this, some omissions will need to be made; plot points will be skipped over, characters written out and those remaining will be trimmed down to a fraction of their former selves, how else will it all fit into a two hour time slot whilst not alienating newcomers by cutting vital exposition? But when the central storyline is a whodunit case of a 16-year old girl vanishing from a closed off island 40 years previously and only one possible suspect is given any level of character depth, it removes any sense of mystery as to who the culprit is.
That being said, the performances are exceptional, especially Noomi Rapace (currently seen in an underused role in the Sherlock sequel, and soon to be in Ridley Scott’s Alien sequel/prequel/equal Prometheus) as the rake-thin, leather-clad, eponymously inked super hacker Lisbeth Salander, but the overall feel seems rushed. Given the choice, opt instead for the six-part extended TV series version recently released on DVD, or read the books if that way inclined, as some of the grislier scenes – the anal rape, for example – are far easier to read about than they are to watch.
Choose life 7/10