The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Following a skilled, creepy Swedish adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by director Niels Arden Oplev, David Fincher’s version lives in a world where Hollywood execs operate from the unpleasant notion that an American director with more money will naturally make a superior version. It opens as crusading reporter Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) loses a libel court battle against the wealthy, corrupt industrialist Wennerstrom, whom he had taken to task in the pages of the crusading left-wing magazine Millennium. Wennerstrom represents Goliath to Mikael’s David in Larsson’s au courant indictment of bloated, malevolent corporations that wield their power with impunity. The little guys are the reporters like Mikael and the damaged punk rock computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (a very, very good Rooney Mara) who mount herculean battles with impossible odds against institutionalized power. Mikael’s targets are corporate villains, and Lisbeth’s is the corrupt, perverse psychiatrist she must report to as a ward of the state. The worlds of Mikael and Lisbeth intersect when the journalist is enticed to escape his public ruin, and possibly find vengeance too, by another wealthy Swedish industrialist Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer). Henrik lures Mikael away from Stockholm to remote Hedestad with the ostensible task of writing his biography. In fact, Henrik is hoping Mikael can put his journalistic sleuthing skills to use by tracking down the killer of his 16-year-old niece, Harriet, who disappeared in 1966 without a trace. Aiding Mikael in his work is Lisbeth, whose hacking and sleuthing skills suggest a post-modern Nancy Drew. The pair form one of the strangest movie couples of all time, first sleuthing and then sleeping together. Not since Clarice Starling has a female character at the center of a serial killer yarn displayed such a rare combination of vulnerability and steely strength, with a little I Spit On Your Grave exploitation-film streak of extreme vengeance to boot.

Credits

Director:

  • David Fincher

Cast:

  • Daniel Craig
  • Rooney Mara
  • Christopher Plummer
  • Robin Wright
  • Stellan Skarsgård
  • Embeth Davidtz
  • Joel Kinnaman
  • Joely Richardson
  • Goran Visnjic
  • Julian Sands

Writer:

  • Steven Zaillian

Producers:

  • Ceán Chaffin
  • Scott Rudin
  • Søren Stærmose
  • Ole Søndberg

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