The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo DVD review

Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer
Director: David Fincher
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment
DVD Release Date: March 20, 2012
Run Time: 158 minutes

            I can understand why David Fincher would be chosen as the director of a film adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s best-selling thriller. The storyline alone seems fitting the director’s best work, dealing with a series of unsolved murders and relentless investigating. Throw in some sexual deviancy and graphic violence and you have a Fincher film not unlike Seven or Zodiac. The only problem with this adaptation is not the choice of Fincher as the director, but the relevance of a North American film adaptation when one has only recently been made in the book’s home country of Sweden. All three of the novels have already been made, and although I appreciate Fincher’s stylistic choices and musical accompaniment much more than the Swedish version, another adaptation was wholly unnecessary to begin with.

            The film follows a number of rabbit holes as far as a plot is concerned, leading to a climactic sequence which is followed by another twenty-minutes of storyline. The basic storyline involves a forty-year-old missing person’s case, which is believed to be an unsolved murder. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is hired by the victim’s uncle, Swedish Industrialist Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), who first hires professional hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) to investigate Blomkvist. Both impressed and horrified by the amount of personal information Salander was able to obtain, Blomkvist hires her as a research assistant in the investigation. This unlikely duo uncovers the secrets behind the Vanger family, most of which live together on an island without speaking to each other.

            Though I don’t necessarily recommend this film to anyone other than die hard Fincher fans such as myself, I may recommend it over the Swedish version. This is because of my personal preference to Fincher’s visual style, but even more so due to the spectacular score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Similar to their award-winning work on The Social Network, it is a lot of pulsing and droning which helps fuel the energy of an occasionally anticlimactic suspense thriller.

            The DVD includes a feature commentary track with Fincher, who is always articulate and entertaining in his explanations for filmmaking choices.

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