A ‘Dragon Tattoo’ Review

Diana’s movie review:

This past week (opening night, in fact) I went to go see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I was hooked on the novels when they came out and watched all of the ‘original’ movies in Swedish, so when I heard about the US version of Dragon Tattoo, I could barely contain my excitement.

First thing’s first: ROONEY MARA (as Lisbeth Salander). Not only did this girl spend months in dialect and computer training, but she actually pierced her body in about 10 different places for the role. She is, by and large, the absolute best thing about this movie. She’s dark, kind of twisted, and she owns everything about being a bisexual, motorcycle-riding, socially inept, tattooed ward of the state and expert computer hacker. It’s impossible to look away while Mara is on screen – she captivates your attention with deadpan humor at just the right times, a vicious and unforgiving nature, and an inner strength that comes from an as-of-yet-unknown history. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie with a more believable lead actress.

This isn’t to discount Daniel Craig’s Mikael Blomkvist – he was his usual dashing self, but without the James Bond swagger and haughty attitude, bringing a calculated reservedness to the screen. Craig was a great foil for Mara as the level-headed anchor to reality for the audience. And there was something quirky and charming about how he wore his glasses hanging off of one ear.

One of my biggest fears going into the movie (as is always the case with movie adaptations of novels) was “What are they going to cut out? Will the story still flow and make sense?” Few details were completely cut out of the movie. The story was ‘streamlined’ (moreso than “edited”) to keep pace with the movie without losing any major piece of the plot. As a ‘Tattoo’ junkie, I’m thoroughly impressed with how well the movie reflected the book.

A warning for audiences: This movie gets dark. REALLY dark… REALLY. Although, that shouldn’t surprise you, since David Fincher doubted any major nominations the movie might get because of “too much anal rape.” I suggest finishing your popcorn during the previews, as you’ll have NO desire to eat anything after about 40 minutes into the movie.

All excessive anal penetration aside, it was truly a brilliant adaptation, a fantastic piece of cinema, and has a cast with seemingly endless talent. Go see it – I can’t possibly recommend it enough.

P.S. I spent the whole movie trying to figure out where I knew Stellan Skarsgard (Martin Vangar) from. He was Professor Lambeau from Good Will Hunting and Bootstrap Bill from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

P.P.S. I STILL love the movie’s tagline, even though I’ve heard it a hundred times – “The Feel Bad Movie of Christmas.”

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One Response to A ‘Dragon Tattoo’ Review

  1. GreySpot19 says:

    Great review! Felt the movie still ran a bit too long despite the streamlining, but I completely agree that Fincher did a standout job capturing the feel and narrative of the book. Waaaaay better than the Swedish films, if I might add…

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