The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, directed by David Fincher is an adaption of the famous book of the same name by Stieg Larson. The story follows a journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) investigating the disappearance of woman who has been missing for fourty years with the assistance of computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara).
David Fincher follows up his last excellent movie (The Social Network) with yet another great film. The man is a perfectionist and it shows. He delivers hit after hit and so far doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Coming from someone who has never read the books, the film took a while to get interesting. Despite the films epic runtime of nearly 2 hours and 40 minutes, the film still runs at a break neck speed. Lines are delivered swiftly, and the story rarely slows down for you to catch your breath. If my mind trailed away for just a second I had snap back my attention to play catch up with the films narrative. The film doesn’t require absolute attention to enjoy every nook and cranny of it, but it helps following the film better. You can get lost because it cuts back between Mikael and Lisbeth’s characters every few minutes or so. Mikael has the meat of the story in this film as most of the film focuses on him. Lisbeth portions are there to delve deep into the psyche of her character which deliver some good character development. The two characters don’t meet and start working together until at least a whopping hour and a half into the film. That’s when the film gets even better and the tension rises.
The film is one giant murder mystery. I knew the film followed a journalist trying to track down a murderer but the film doesn’t have much violence. The closest thing to murder you’ll see in this film are old crime scenes photos that correlate to the murderer. There is a rape scene that isn’t for those who are sensitive to that type of material and that’s really as graphic as the film gets. I just didn’t feel the movie as brutal as some of the critics made it out to be.
The film is well shot, well directed, and is filled with great performances with the best being Rooney Mara’s who plays a great Lisbeth Salander. She pulls of a great accent, and is just plain interesting from the start. Daniel Craig does well too but he doesn’t put out a swedish accent like some of the other characters. I read it was a choice between him and the director.
One of the best things about the film is another great score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross that really helps set the gloomy tone of the film. But a lot of the music just felt like background noise. The music rarely rises to the point it nearly drowns out the visuals on screen and I can’t help but just think ‘whoa this music is intense,’ which I found myself happening a lot with their last score on The Social Network.
Overall, I really enjoyed the film. It’s not as fantastic as some of David Fincher’s other murder mysteries but it’s a solid piece of film making.
I give this one a solid 8/10.