The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Final Thoughts

Surprisingly dull in comparison to the book and original film, this version delivers all that was promised.

Overall Score 3.6
Readers Rating
0 votes

Well, I guess its a good movie to be the first officially reviewed on this website.

David Fincher presents new interpretation of the first book of famous trilogy by Stieg Larsson. And since only 2 years passed from the release of the Swedish version by the same name, a lot of interest was around the fact of how well deserved this version would be. Well, Fincher is Fincher – an acclaimed big name director with incredible film resume. So naturally visiting the theater with high hopes is in order.

Unfortunately, nowadays stepping into Hollywood production with raised expectations is very risky ordeal. Recently only handful of movies could live up to these expectations and next thing you know is leaving unsatisfied and going home with the idea of “man I should have waited and downloaded the dvdrip” or “man WHY did I even watch this crap?!”. Well, this was not the case with this movie. According to me, at least. Somehow, being familiar to the topic I suppose, I was ready to see what I was intending to see. But for the first time watcher, which I assume there would be a lot, this film might seem as total incredible waste of time, money, and common sense in general.

Film tells two seemingly unrelated stories. In one of them, controversial economics journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is being assigned a task to solve 40 year old missing person case. In the other, young anti-social troubled hacker goth (man that’s a lot of epithets for a character) Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) is trying to overcome her personal demons. But in progression of the movie these two stories intersect and the relation between two heroes doesn’t seem unrelated anymore.

Movie is full of violence. Here a few things should be noted about the author Stied Larsson. Being a huge anti-violence activist his main objective was to show in all the details the horrors of violence. And it should be noted that the original translation of the Swedish name of the book is “The men who hate women”. The 2009 Swedish version, in my opinion, decided not to go too deep with all the violence so graphically explained in the books. And it’s understandable – the details are truly horrible. Unfortunately, that also downgraded somehow the real struggle and pain experienced by the heroes throughout the film. And one thing Fincher’s movie did is that it kept most of these scenes almost intact with the source, showing all the brutality, cruelty, and horror that heroes (well, mainly Lisbeth) had to go through.

I should give credit to Rooney Mara, she really did well. For her, it was a breakthrough role and a chance to hit it big. And she did. She confronted all the challenge really outstandingly and portrays a very believable character. Unfortunately, in my opinion so does “original” Lisbeth – Noomi Rapace, who played her role even better. BUT I’m afraid under circumstances of going THAT deep into character every actress portraying Lisbeth Salander would have gone THAT mile. I don’t see how you can pull anything more than that. Both of them don’t bring anything unique to the character, but rather show exact same weird interesting character found on the pages written by  Stieg Larsson.

Can’t say that about Daniel Craig, tho. His portrayal of Mikael Blomkvist brings something different. His Mikael is stronger, bringing much more needed action into original character. I guess it’s just a “side effect” of being James Bond. Nevertheless, it was good to see him being himself.

Rest of the cast (which consists of Christopher Plummer, Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgard, Steven Berkoff, and etc.) performs really well, and they should be. These are the actors you expect not the least from. And they deliver.

David Fincher is a unique director possessing an interesting skill of making weird movies. Unfortunately, the thing I have noticed about him is that he is losing all that charisma he had during his first movies. To tell the truth being familiar with his work I was really looking forward for him to direct this movie. Indeed, the complexity and controversial structure of the source was exactly the kind that Fincher was so proficient in. And I was expecting not the least complexity, uniqueness, weirdness, an unorthodox approach, a crazy visual experience. Well I didn’t see much of it.

It is really well made movie, directing is on its best. Cinematography reveals beautiful snowy Swedish terrain, cold country houses, trashy teenage rooms, endless archives. But apart from several standard Fincher cliche shots there was nothing to it deserving to be noted. It felt dull. It didn’t feel like Fight Club. It just felt like Social Network all over again. And this disappointed me the most.

Just a side note: Please DO NOT watch this movie with children. Film bears significant amount of violence, brutality, and nudity.


I’m giving this movie 7 stars out of 10. Looking forward for the sequel.