The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) Review

Somewhat against my will I was dragged to see this movie in theaters.  After having read a review on Dan’s site (he’s got some pretty good reviews on his WordPress and he reviews not just what’s out now but older movies as well; you should check him out), I decided that based on my own personal preferences, this would be a movie that I would probably prefer streaming instead.

I was somewhat right.

The movie was a lot better than what I was expecting, but it was also a bit of a letdown because it wasn’t as awesome as the trailer seemed (but of course that is my own personal opinion).  Again, on a personal level, I am not a fan of movies that are too long–one movie that immediately comes to mind is that one installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series (I can’t remember which one off the top of my head though) that seemed to last an eternity–and this movie was fairly long.

My personal preferences aside, I think it is safe to say this was a well-done film.  The violence wasn’t as graphic as some reviews I read seemed to imply, which was a major plus for me, since I don’t like watching too much gun violence or anything too gory.  (I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I am a huge fan of CSI: Miami, and if it weren’t for my two favorite eye-candy actors in the show–Jonathan Togo and Adam Rodriguez–I probably wouldn’t sit through half of the episodes I do because even that series can be too bloody for me.)

The sex scenes are also not too terribly graphic, though they are somewhat detailed–not nearly as detailed as they were in Requiem for a Dream (2000), however, which is one of those movies that I remember being surprised by when I accidentally watched it in middle school not knowing anything about what the movie was about; it was just a title I had heard about among high school kids that I knew and curiosity got the better of me.

I think it’s safe to say that Rooney Mara stole the show in this film; even Daniel Craig didn’t really stand out to me.  Then again, his acting has never really stood out in my mind.  All I remember is that I saw him in Casino Royale (2006), but I can’t really remember what his acting was like at all from that movie.  Mara though, I thought she filled what I imagined Lisbeth Salander’s role to be so perfectly, it was satisfying to watch.  Out of all the “tough girl” characters out there, I really think she really did a good job convincing me of her toughness without seeming like she was overdoing her acting.  (For reference, I think Zoe Saldana as Cataleya in Colombiana (2011) or Michelle Rodriguez as Letty in the Fast & Furious movies are examples of “strong women” characters that seem to overdo things in the “I’m tough and don’t need a man’s help” department.  That’s just me though.)

By the way, briefly unrelated, speaking of the Fast & Furious movies, it seems that the 6th installment is coming out in 2013, and Jason Statham is rumored to be in it, according to IMDB.  Interesting.  And yes, I am a total sucker for the racing movie series, even though the quality of them gets admittedly worse with each installment that gets plugged out.

Anyway, going back to my review for this year’s version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, here’s my usual ratings breakdown:

Originality: ***
Picture: ****
Sound: ***
Story: ***
Casting: ****
Re-watch Factor: ***
Overall: ***

FINAL VERDICT: B+

Some may argue that many elements from the book are missing, but that’s usually the case with any book-turned-movie scenario, I think.  It’s difficult to please everyone.  Overall I think Fincher did a good job, and Mara was amazing in her role.  Though the premise and genre is not to my usual personal taste, I think it is a movie that most people would actually enjoy watching in theaters.

2 responses to “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) Review

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