THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is little more than good pulp that\’s wrapped up in history, the Holocaust, and Nazism to give it depth and presented in a 158-minute package to give it weight. Fortunately, director
is highly skilled at this kind of thing, having turned in the similar films Seven (1995) and Zodiac (2007). His chilly, precise filmmaking knows how to tease while still looking head-on into a dark, bloody abyss. Fincher takes time to build the mystery slowly, showing the numbing amounts of research as well as details like freezing-cold cabins and bad vending machine coffee. Every bit of excitement here is mirrored by something either mundane or rotten. (This isn\’t a glamorous mystery. ) For the English-language remake — which uses all the same character names and locations as the original — superb casting choices were made all the way down the line, with Craig and Mara superbly commanding the screen. David Fincher s 2011 American-version adaptation of the bestsller novel trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, was released just last Christmas season, and, while it did go on to just barely pass the one-hundred-million dollar mark at the U. S. box office, which, technically is considered to make it a success, was still not enough for everyone s much higher and more positive outlook on it s box office activity.
Still, while it garnered generally positive reviews from most critics and audiences, even I have to admit, myself, that, upon the film s first viewing, it leaves you with a fairly moderate feel of polarization. It is a film that is made with a big budget, a very good director in David Fincher who sports an excellent but almost equally polarizing track-record (Fight Club, Seven), a decent cast made up of Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellen Skarsgaard, Anne Hech, Robin Wright, and more, and yet, the film doddles in such a shocking array of violence, sexuality and brutallity that it is such a jaw-dropping film, upon first viewing. Upon, the second, third, and multiple other viewings, however, I found that, at an almost interminable 158- minute-running time, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo manages to be a film that envelopes a fascinating, yet haunting mystery, a large amount of widely-developed characters, plenty of heated messages of both violence towards men, women, (animals), and just plain people in general. Now, while some of you may not know the basic plot of the film, I guess that I might as well spell it out for you, all: This film, underneath all of it s layers of glam, grit and sadisim, is a mystery, involving a reclusive millionaire and his family, who, for the past forty-years, has been wondering what happened to his niece, who was mysteriously kidnapped all those years ago.
Now, being called in to investigate, is a disgraced editor of a popular Swedish magazine, and, with the help of one rather troubled (to say the extreme least) gothic, bi-sexual, trouble bound hacker, they must discover whta happened to the missing girl after all of those years, but, in the mean time, the main characters, primarily the one of the hacker, named Lisbeth Salander, deal with there own interwoven issues, which, of course, her s are more serious than most. Now, is this film good? Well, if for absolutely nothing else, this film is a extremely well acted, well made, well directed, and, again, despite it s overlong-running time, which is mainly twenty-minutes longer to tie up a few loose ends near the film s close, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is certainly one of the more multilayered mystery films out there, and, having actually read the novel and seen the three other Swedish films, I will say that this film is a remarkably good attempt, at the least. But, while some teens may be intreaged by the films popular novels, big cast, budget, production and directors credits, parents must be fully aware that this film is with out a doubt, a very hard R Rating, and that, without a few close calls, it could have very well received an NC-17: This film contains several instances of graphic and extreme violence, but, to be honest, it is almost always teamed with sex; Throughout the film, we see photos of grisly murders of women, including rape, mutilation and dismemberment, but, this film also includes, underneath all of the violence, and killing, explicit rape, which will definitely be hard to watch for most, the rape victims revenge against the perpetrator, which inlcudes having a large sex toy shoved into his behind and a crude message tattooed onto his chest; add to that, multiple strong sex scenes with full thrusting, nudity and activity on dipslay, including even several other scenes-here-and-there, containing female nudity of both breasts and buttocks, and this film definitely earns it s harsh rating.
Also, while not nearly as bad as both the violence and sex, the film does inlcude some infrequent but strong profanity, including about 25 uses of the F-word, but, it also includes several uses each of sh-t, cr-p,a–h-le and more, as well. So, is the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo a decent enough adaptation of the much loved novel trilogy and Swedish films? Well, that is up to you to decide, but, personally, I enjoyed it thoroughly for what it is: A smart, trashy piece of cinema. Reccomended.