The first thing you notice about this film (interesting also because Daniel Craig is in it) is the James Bond-style opening sequence. Only instead of beautiful girls, here there are male and female heads exploding after being punched. Nice..
The ‘Girl With A Dragon Tattoo’ novel by Stieg Larsson (and it’s sequels) are a literary phenomenon, one which I have so far managed to avoid. Partly because of the book’s popularity and also because this is a remake for a Western audience of the original Swedish film – I assumed that this would be average at best. However it’s actually a very good film, dark and multi-faceted with characters painted in shades of grey rather than the standard Hollywood template of just black and white. It only suffers slightly from it’s literary origins : the plot is over-complicated and it can be hard to follow at times.
Undoubtably the best thing about the film is the eponymous heroine herself : Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). She exudes charisma, almost by way of having none. She is thin with piercings, resembles a drug addict and is also something of a sociopath. So not your typical Hollywood heroine then. Skilled, strong and vulnerable (there is an uncomfortable rape scene), she holds your attention in every scene she features in. Daniel Craig also deserves a mention. He puts in a very good but understated performance as Mikael Blomkvist, the disgraced journalist who employs Lisbeth as an assistant during his investigations into a potential murder.
A very good film, and all the better for it’s Swedish origins. 7/10