Thursday, January 5, 2012

Movie Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

I am an avid fan of the Millennium Trilogy. I have been a fan since I thoroughly enjoyed the book in which the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson wrote back in 2004. I read the book over the summer and it was the second best book I read last year. The film came out two weeks ago, but I got in while it was in theaters, so that's all that really matters. The film was an enjoyable experience that cut down some of what was in the book, but still remained faithful to the basic concepts of the film. That is all that should really matter.

Mikael Blomkvist is played by Daniel Craig. I have enjoyed Craig's acting, especially when he portrayed James Bond in Casino Royale. He does not disappoint in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and provides just the right personality in which Blomkvist should have. Blomkvist is a journalist who runs the Millennium magazine, but is targeted by Hans-Erik Wennerstrom, a businessman who is targeting Blomkvist in a libel case. One of the key differences between the novel and film is that Blomkvist does NOT go to jail in the film, as he does in the novel. Though in the novel, him going to jail doesn't really play such an effect to the plot. Blomkvist meets Henrik Vanger (played by Christopher Plummer), who wants him to solve the case of his missing great-niece, Harriet. Vanger is the owner of a giant corporation and lives on a Swedish island with members of his family, all of which are separated and do not speak to one another. In exchange for solving the case, Vanger will provide Blomkvist with the information he needs to order to defeat Wennerstrom in a case.

Meanwhile, computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, played brilliantly by up and rising actress Rooney Mara, is overlooking these events and is ultimately tagged by Blomkvist to help with this ongoing case. Salander is a social misfit (who may have Asperger's Syndrome, but may not) who bares tattoos and piercings, and has a new guardian, Nils Bjurman (played by Yorick van Wageningen), who controls her financial assets after her old guardian suffers a stroke. Bjurman exchanges finances for acts of sexual activity, which become more extreme during each deal. To add to this, Bjurman is a middle-aged creep. Salander does get her revenge on him. Salander forms a chemistry with Blomkvist that sets the stage for a good team that's solving a good case.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo demonstrates that the Millennium Trilogy is a series that viewers should be taking seriously. In two hours and thirty-eight minutes, the film shows an exciting crime thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. You never know who is going to do what next. The acting was completely on key and those participating in the film should be considered for Academy Award nominations. At the very least, Rooney Mara should be considered for a nomination as Best Actress.

Is it worth seeing in theaters? Absolutely! Go and enjoy, because that's what you're going to do. The film is R-rated for violence and language, but more so for the sex and nudity that's featured in the film. That's the story, however, and this is supposed to be an extreme novel. The original novel translates to Men Who Hate Women, which plays the theme of disgusting men who are engaging in disgusting acts against women. With that being said, the Millennium Trilogy is worth your time and attention and you will most definitely enjoy the novel and film. I will really look into reading the remainder of the series and attend the movies when they're released in the years to come.

Verdict: 10/10


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