Movie Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Posted: January 11, 2012 in movie reviews, movies, Uncategorized
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This movie had a lot of things going for it, but I found it predictable. Saving factor? Rooney Mara’s portray of Lisbeth Salander. Completely fantastic. I just wished the rest of the movie could have lived up to great performance.


The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard,
Joely Richardson, Goran Visnjic

Premise: Writer, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is hired by Henrik Vagner (Christopher Plummer), head of the Vanger family, to investigate his family and the disappearance of one of their own that occurred over 40 years ago. As Blomkvist digs deeper into the Vanger family, with help from a young, unique, computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, they uncover dangerous secrets that put their lives in jeopardy.

My Review: About a year ago, I tried reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo book and I couldn’t get beyond the first 50 pages. There were just too many Swedish names and places and I just couldn’t get through it. But upon hearing how good the foreign films were, I decided to give this movie a chance. I mean, David Fincher is awesome. I love Christopher Plummer and Stellan Skarsgard and I’ve been hearing good things about Rooney Mara’s transformation. I’ve been a bit on the fence about Daniel Craig, but the plot intrigued me. Not to mention the first trailer for the movie was pretty great. So good plot, good director, good actors, what could go wrong…right?

I don’t think anything went wrong, per say, but I came out of the movie feeling just lukewarm about it. The acting was great (Rooney Mara was fantastic – more on that later). The plot kept me interested even if things didn’t move at a lightning-fast pace. But there was something missing. The story didn’t feel fresh to me. And frankly, I found it utterly predictable.

What made this movie – what really made this movie – was Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). Lisbeth is a troubled, troubled girl. We don’t even need to know her backstory to figure that out. From the spiky hair, to the leather and motorcycle, to the pierced face, to the permanent look of anger, we know the girl has issues. After setting her father on fire, Lisbeth has been in and out of mental institutions, and on her own for the longest time. The only person “looking out for her” is a government-issued parole officer, who uses the fact that he controls her finances to control her – in horrific ways you cannot possibly imagine. But Lisbeth isn’t one to sit back. She takes revenge in an awful, he-won’t-walk-right-for-days, kind of way. But no matter what disturbing things she did with a vengeance, the punishment fit the crime. Lisbeth could have chopped him into a million pieces and we’d still root for her. That, is a character.

And she was the ONLY character. Everyone else was run-of-the-mill, standard, family murder mystery fare. Even our protagonist, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig). There was nothing about any of these people who made me want to root for them, or care about them. Well, except for maybe Christopher Plummer. But how can you NOT root for Christopher Plummer?

Even though the movie was a half hour too long, David Fincher managed to hook me with his slow burning murder mystery. I enjoyed the movie much more once Blomkvist and Salander actually teamed up (the first 45 minutes of the movie were intercuts between their separate lives). The two were such an odd pairing they were actually pretty funny together. Yeah, you heard me right, funny. Or maybe the right word is amusing. But once they started working together something just clicked with the movie. Thank you, Rooney Mara.

Overall, this movie is a good watch. I’m not saying you have to spend $13 to go watch it, but you should definitely check it out of murder mysteries are your thing. There are disturbing images and situations so don’t be alarmed if you find your body tensing up. I know during one part I had my hands balled up in fists.

Rating: 3 Stars

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