The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Year: 2011
Directed By: David Fincher
Written By: Steven Zailian (screenplay) Stieg Larsson (novel)

RYAN’S REVIEW

I think this was a lot of great work put into a ridiculous story for the sake of capitalizing on something successful.  I think this was a horrible book and I don’t know that I have ever been more disappointed by a twist at the end, but despite what I think the book sold millions and millions of copies.  It was easily one of the most successful books of its time and a big movie production for it was necessary under those circumstances.  I think the movie was really well made, the actors were terrific, and the soundtrack by Trent Reznor was awesome.  Yet, despite all that I found the story in the movie to be even more ridiculous than the one in the book and I can’t get past that.  Still, we own the movie now for two reasons.  One, Amber was a big fan of the book and liked the movie. Two, Rooney Mara is so aggressively naked in this movie and she is so sexy I felt it justified the purchase no matter how stupid the story is.

My problem with this story is simple; it’s a murder mystery about someone who was never murdered.  When reading it I was so excited to find out how it actually happened, who did it, and how they got away with it.  I sincerely feel like finding out that nobody did it and nobody got away with it was one of the biggest let downs I have had as a reader.  In fact I think it makes a fool out of every single character in a book full of foolish characters.  Now I’m not talking about Salander, she is a badass.  Blomkvist on the other hand is a foolish character and I felt like he was so overdone and ridiculous.  Everywhere he went, no matter the circumstances, the woman he was talking to came on to him and just had to have sex with him.  Now, according to my wife I should get that with Daniel Craig cast in the part but I still don’t buy it.  I just think this was the writer living out his own perverse fantasies through the character he most related with.  Now, I thought how it happened in the book was stupid; Blomkvist finds the woman he is looking for very much alive and then promptly goes on to have sex with her as well, go figure (all victims of extreme sex crimes are interested in spontaneous sex with men they just met right?).  In the movie I thought it was even worse.  When all is said and done Daniel Craig looks up at his board with the family photos on it and realizes the woman he has been looking for is right in the center of the thing.  In forty years no investigator could figure out who she was and he just realizes suddenly who it is and figures it all out? That’s no shocker, that’s not the twist I was looking for and I just cannot get over the disappointment of it.  Amber insist that the story is better in the next two books but I could never bring myself to even bother with them.  Worst ending ever, period. If I missed something vital and just don’t understand then by all means let me know.  I suppose it would make much more sense that I overlooked some vital detail then to think I am the only person who realizes how weak this ending was.  I doubt it, but in the event that I am right and this ending totally blows please leave a comment and lend me some support, I feel alone in this opinion.

There is one more significant problem I have with this story in both the film and the book.  I do not like rape, I do not own many movies in which it happens and it is part of any plot that I find distasteful and disturbing.  Yes I understand that it is a fact of life and something that happens but that doesn’t change the fact that I don’t like seeing it.  It is a morally reprehensible act and the absolute worst thing someone can do to another, be it a woman being taking against her will by a man or man on man like in Deliverance it’s just wrong plain and simple. What happens to Salander is fucked up, for lack of a more appropriate expression.  I didn’t like reading it, I don’t like seeing it, and I don’t enjoy a story in which something this awful happens.  I love to watch movies, and I find most of them sullied by this kind of plot point.  I’m not the kind of person who would turn a blind eye to such a thing because I am really against it but I don’t have to like movies that show it either. Salander’s vengeance in this film may be amazing and awesome but I still don’t like having to see what he did to her.  It takes her to the next level of badass and in truth I do like her as a character.  I don’t generally re-watch a movie when there is a scene I feel I must skip (except in the case of Team America: World Police because while I don’t want to see those puppets getting freaky or vomiting relentlessly I still can’t get enough of the rest). My problem with rape may actually be the reason I hated this story so much in general.  I was excited to find out who this killer was and all I found out was about how demented and monstrous these rapists and sex criminals were.  Sex crimes are ugly and awful things.  I didn’t find the things that happened in the book shocking but repulsive and disappointing.  I expect there to be these kinds of awful people out there in the world, it doesn’t surprise me at all it only upsets me to see it unfold in words or on screen.

I will admit this movie was very well made and a lot of people did some really great work to get it made. It is not for me though, I will gladly watch Rooney Mara walk around naked when her character makes the decision to do so and is not being forced, but by and large there isn’t anything else here for me.  That being said I’m not going to go any farther with this review.  I have said my peace about it and welcome your opinions to be left in comments, feel free to completely combat or agree to what I have said. My money bets most will disagree with me.  Given that I am in the minority of opinions in regards to this book and film I don’t think you should accept what I have to say about it and see it yourself if you are interested.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I thought this movie was an incredible adaptation of the book. It wasn’t completely spot on, but they added in all of the scenes that mattered. I have read all three of these books by Stieg Larson. The second and third books are the best ones, and I can’t wait until they come out. How this story plays out is twisted and unpredictable. The woman in the story had a horrendous childhood. Her father used to beat her mother, and her mother was one out of a couple of girlfriends he had. We find out a lot more about her upbringing and relationship with her father in the next two movies/books. Rooney Mara looked exactly like what I envisioned in my head. She did an incredible job with this role. I believed in her, I saw her pain and felt it. This movie is a little graphic and crude, but that’s what makes it so honest. Daniel Craig did okay in this movie. I pictured Blomkvist a little more gritty and not as attractive as he is in this film. Which reminds me, all authors seem to put their own character in the book, and Stieg did this through Blomkvist. He uses this character to sleep with any and all women. It’s a bit silly, but I would probably do the same thing. (Maybe not sleep with everyone, but perhaps my main character was covered in tattoos? 🙂 )

The-girl-with-the-Dragon-Tattoo-Movie-PosterMaybe I am just biased, but I LOVE this poster. I think it was a gutsy risk to make this an all black poster. I think it fits the mood of the movie, but it isn’t going to stand out when it is sitting beside the other releases. I love the way they showed both of the main characters on the front. As most of you know by now, I hate it when a poster tries to fit in everyone in the movie. This is an example of how to do it right. You get the character of Blomkvist and Lisbeth right away. The font choice is great for this movie, but I wish the typography was a little more tight.

This movie was great and I can’t wait to see the next two. The story gets really crazy.

girl-with-dragon-tattoo-uncensored-posterRyan here again, this is the unedited poster for the film that I think was only displayed overseas where sexuality isn’t so taboo. I felt compelled to add it the bottom of this review because, well, it’s awesome isn’t it?  I saw this poster online before the movie came out and I was immediately interested in the movie despite what I thought of the book. Again, Rooney Mara looks really good in this one as you can plainly see.  There is just something about such a dangerous woman that makes her really sexy.

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