The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope the holidays treated you well and provided with you with some well deserved time away from work or school and enough time to get out and see a movie or two.

For our first movie of the new year my wife and I finally got out to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Even though this remake of the original Swedish version came out in 2011 it was the perfect film to start off 2012.

Daniel Craig takes a break from playing James Bond to take on the role of Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist who finds his way into investigating a 40-year old murder case. Upon diving into the case Blomkvist realizes that he needs an assistant and calls upon the help of Lisbeth Salander, an early 20's computer hacker with a difficult background.

The two are investigating the murder of the niece of a wealthy Swedish family business that has remained unsolved for 40 years. The information uncovered by the duo will keep you guessing throughout the film. You will cringe, you will laugh, and you will almost certainly turn your head in disgust, but one thing is for sure, you will be entertained for 2 1/2 hours.

I have not read the book from which this film gets its title. I tried at one point, but couldn't get around all of the Swedish names that I could not pronounce. Doing a little research online it appears that the film stays pretty true to Stieg Larsson's original novel.

There are two scenes in this movie that will either prevent a lot of people from seeing this, or no doubt have you discussing when walking out of the theater. There is no way around these scenes. They are brutally graphic and not something you can unsee. However I do think they had a point in the film. You need to understand the darkness that is behind Lisbeth Salander and while referencing her experiences may be easier to watch that is not the way that David Fincher makes films.

Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, and Stellan Skarsgard are all terrific in the film. With the obvious exception of Craig, the other actors in this film do not have a history of starring in Hollywood hits. I really enjoyed the role that Skarsgard played, but couldn't place where I recognized him from for the entire length of the movie (as it turns out he played a director on a few episodes of Entourage). I think this could negatively affect the amount of money the studio makes on this film, but if in fact the sequels are made I think the precedent has been set and those will really take off.

While I enjoyed the roles played by those I mentioned above, Rooney Mara has landed the role of a lifetime as Lisbeth Salander.

Her disturbing portrayal of the young computer hacker is absolutely worthy of numerous award nominations, and could lead to some statues on her mantle in the near future. Having only seen her in The Social Network I wasn't quite sure she could handle the lead role in such a dramatic film. She proved me, and anyone else who thought that way to be incredibly wrong. Not only did she handle the role perfectly, she showed a dark side to her acting skills that hasn't been seen in Hollywood in a long time. I should have known she would be great after she stole the opening scene of The Social Network, but she quickly vaulted toward the upper echelon of film actresses after this role.

This film is not going to be for everyone. It is not going to win the box office, and is not going to be played at any family gatherings anytime soon. If you accept that fact and go into this film knowing that is fictional I truly think you will enjoy it.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Directed by: David Fincher
Written by: Steven Zallian, and Steig Larsson
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, and Christopher Plummer
My Rating: 4.25 out of 5
Would Gene Pick it?: Yes

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