The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
A gritty, dark, intense thriller that grabs hold of you from the beginning and never lets go

Directed by: David Fincher       Starring: Rooney Mara                   Review By: Mitchell Burns
                                                                  Daniel Craig
                                                                  Christopher Plummer                   4 1/2 / 5 stars
                                                                  Stellan Skarsgård
                                                                  Robin Wright

I had no idea what to expect from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, it probably had the best trailer of 2011, a trailer that didn’t give away any of the story line (a good thing). I had read tiny blurbs and excerpts about the movie, I knew it was rated R, I knew who starred in it. I also knew it was based on the first of a three part best selling book series written by the late Stieg Larson. Larson never became a bestselling author until after his death in 2004.

Larson’s three part book series has already been turned into three movies in Sweden. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest, which are the names of the three books in the series. I have not see the three Swedish movies, but have heard they are top notch. Some critics even say the Swedish version of the first movie is better than this version, U.S version.

So that is what I knew going into the movie, I knew most critics enjoyed it but not knowing anything about the story I was kind of excited to be able to form my own opinion. I was very happy, “Dragon Tattoo” has everything, intrigue, action, an insanely detailed story line, and the acting power to make it all work.

Daniel Craig plays Mikael, a journalist who has just lost a major case against a crooked businessman, Wennerstromm, and is now forced to pay damages of almost 100,000 US.

Unbeknown to Mikael, a girl named Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) is learning everything about him and compiling a background check for a man named Henrik (Christopher Plummer) the retired CEO of Vanger industries.

Lisbeth Salander, the title character, is a ward of the state due to mental incompetence. She is a computer hacker, and rides a killer motorcycle, everywhere. Her current legal guardian suffers a stroke, and when she is placed under the care of a new legal guardian, A Lawyer, more trouble arises for her.

Mikael is contacted by Henrik of Vanger industries and is asked to come his families island. The Vanger family lives on one island, scattered vicariously throughout. The Vanger family has a deeply troubled past and most members of the family rarely talk to one another. Mikael leaves his life behind, his married girl friend (Robing Wright) and accepts Henrik’s (Plummer) case. The case, which is trying to solve the unsolved murder of Henrik’s niece, who went missing one night at the age of 18 and is presumed murdered.

The case has Mikael interviewing the entire Vanger family, with a lot of help from Henrik’s nephew (Stellan Skarsgård), and a lot of un-helpfulness from the rest of the family (most unrecognizable, but good actors and actresses).

As you guessed Mikael’s path does intertwine with Lisbeth’s as he enlists her skills as the case gets more and more intense. 

Maybe I’ve explained too much, but I definitely left a lot out. 

The depth in the storyline and the characters must come from Stieg Larson, The Author, but I can easily see the influences David Fincher brought to the direction of this movie. David Fincher has quickly become my favorite director, just last year we were raving over his movie, The Social Network and in past years movies like Se7en, The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons and Panic Room.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is an intriguing mystery, an intense psycho-thriller, no laughs to speak of, a little twinge of romance, and decent acting! The only reason I wouldn’t recommend TGWTDT too everyone is because it deserves it’s R rating. Although, my fiancée and I were the youngest in the theatre, and most were couples in there 60’s who probably had read the book. Three people did walk out during our showing due to some intense scenes about 40 minutes into the movie. 

The intensity of some scenes only build upon Lisbeth’s character and show you a glimpse into why she is the way she is. Rooney Mara depicts her perfectly, I didn’t realize until I looked it up but she is Jesse Eisenberg’s love interest in The Social Network and the main actress in the Nightmare On Elm Street remake. Mara does a bang up job, and I don’t think we’ve seen the last of her.

The rest of the cast does there job, Daniel Craig barely even tries at an accent, but does well and it only heightened my excitement for Skyfall (The new James Bond) and almost made me forget Cowboys and Aliens. Christopher Plummer is great as always as is Stellan Skaarsgard.

I can not wait to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo again, it’s an intense thrill ride that I would have walked right back into the theatre too see again!
-Mitch Burns

Click here to see the red-band poster that was too risky to put in my blog!!! This just goes to show, if the poster is R rated, imagine the movie!  

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