Friday, December 30, 2011

Movie Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

My daughter and I are big fans of the books (we both listened to the audio books featuring the incomparable Simon Vance) and the original movies (in Swedish with English subtitles). We were unsure what another movie would bring but were looking forward to seeing it. We were both pleased with the new movie. I wouldn't say it was better than the original movie but just as good. Director David Fichner and screen writer Steven Zaillian are telling a story that has already been told twice. They chose to emphasize different aspects of the source material giving a different interpretation to the movie. For example, in the original movie, the character Erika Berger, played by Robin Wright, has hardly any screen time. She and Mikael Blomkvist, played by Daniel Craig, are the co-publishers of Millennium Magazine and sometime lovers. This choice by the original film makers had implications for the entire 3-film series as she takes a larger part in the later novels. In the new movie, Erika, is given more to do and her character is more fleshed out.

The ending of the new movie makes a major change from the book, but ultimately, doesn't change the story. The new movie, however, ends with the same scene as the book, which the first movie did not. I think the new ending sets up the next movie better.

The opening credits are a melange of weird shots which seem to have little relevance to the movie, except perhaps for the prevalence of computer cables.  Lisbeth is supposed to be a world class hacker. The music is a remake of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song done by Trent Reznor. The opening line of the song is "We come from the land of the ice and snow  from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow." Most of the film was made on location in Sweden.

I highly recommend you see this movie even if you haven't read the books or even if you've seen the first movie. It has a well deserved R rating so I would not take the kids. There is a rather brutal rape scene (very necessary to the plot) and some nudity (love scenes which are also essential to the plot).

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