The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- 2.5/5
there are spoilers in this review
I'm going to say it right now, but I watched this movie not thinking about the Swedish version I saw a year ago at all. I wanted to see it with new eyes, and in all honesty I wasn't crazy for it.
I was excited to see Daniel Craig as Mikael, because he is a very handsome and rugged guy, and from what I read of the book he was described as such. He looks the part for sure. However, he did not act it quite the same. His character seemed timid and also just seemed to go with the flow. He wasn't very assertive at all, but instead a boring and bland guy that just does what he's told without question. Didn't seem too interesting to me. And Rooney Mara was alright as Lisbeth, but she appeared not as strong to me as she should be. For a girl that rapes a guy and tattoos his life sentence across his chest, I would expect her head to be held high a little bit more than it is. I feel like her head's always down, always submissive-like, always shy and weak. It's almost odd to see her so assertively crazy when she is. And the ending made her look far too soft in my opinion. The girl needed to be stronger to the audience, and stronger was not what we saw. This dynamic duo seemed weak, sloppy, and aside from the fact that they were sleeping with another, they did not seem to communicate very well as far as the mystery is concerned.
The location wasn't very intriguing either. The houses were pretty, but it just seemed very fake to me. It did not look like the location from the book, but almost as if it was just a set. It didn't have that awe that I remembered. It just was flat for me.
I also really disliked finding Hariett in London. It seemed all too easy.
Furthermore, there were some things I thought about this movie as good. The choice to cast Stellan Skarsgard was a great one. He was super creepy and a fantastic actor. Although, I felt they gave him away too soon. It was pretty obvious that in the scene where Mikael is drinking wine with Martin and his girlfriend, that a girl is screaming elsewhere in his house. And it seemed brilliant at first when he put on "Come Sail Away" as he was trying to kill Mikael, but as the scene progressed I liked the song playing in the background less and less. It was silly.
Something that I found the most intriguing was the flashback sequences. I enjoyed watching them get played out in front of my eyes, rather than just a back and forth conversation that can tend to get a little winded to watch. The movie was also shot very beautifully.
Other than that, in all honesty I enjoyed watching the Swedish version a lot more. It wasn't nearly as long, and it wasn't quite as jumbled. That film is edited down pretty well, while this one I feel was not given the same care. I suppose that is what happens when you sign on for a movie and have to make it within the year. I would maybe catch it when it airs on TV, but other than that I think I am good without.