ReviewWriter: Lester Gan Wai LunWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Silence Of The Lambs”, “Old Boy” & "The Shining"
Based on the posthumous "Millennium" mystery novel series by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, the American big screen adaptation of the "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" is thankfully on par, if not brilliantly surpasses its Swedish adaptation of 2009.
"The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" starts off with famed investigative reporter Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) who is disgraced after having written a libellous piece on a powerful tycoon who takes him to court. After having served his time in prison, he is then hired by Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), the retired CEO of the Vanger Corporation to investigate the disappearance of the aging billionaire's grandniece, Harriet Vanger, who was believed to be murdered forty years ago. Set on a cold and desolate island in what is supposedly a modern 'locked room mystery' style plot, Blomkvist along with the socially awkward yet angst ridden Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) delve into the twisted Vanger's family history to solve the chilly case.
Directed by David Fincher who is well-known for his dark yet stylish thrillers such as "Seven", "Fight Club", "Panic Room" and "The Social Network", the American version of the movie is surprisingly better than the Swedish version which was released 3 years ago. For those who have read the book, they would find the adult mystery fairly decent, but not as exhilaratingly conspiracy-laden like the "Dan Brown" novels, however, Fincher has delivered more onto the screen than one would expect, keeping the mood of the film as dark and grittily gripping with mounting tension which the book provided only on a low gear.
The characters in "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" are definitely the best part of the film. Daniel Craig playing a journalistic intellectual rather than his usual action roles seen in his Bond films is a welcoming change. And speaking about change, one could definitely not deny the drastic transformation of Rooney Mara, who is perhaps well remembered as the girlfriend of Jesse Eisenberg who breaks up with him and inspires his character at the beginning of "The Social Network" to create Facebook.
Also noteworthy would be the soundtrack of the film which once again sees the return of Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, along with Atticus Ross who managed to compose the perfect dusky and dark tones that compliments the mood of the film. Perhaps another Oscar is in store for the duo who had previously won an Academy Award for their work in "The Social Network".
As most of the film basically is verbatim to the book or the previous Swedish film, you may find that if you have indulged in the two, then this movie may be not as thrilling as it could've been, but nonetheless "The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo" is a brilliant film recommended for a watch as it's probably one of the best thrillers we've had in a really long time since "The Shining".Cinema Online, 04 January 2012