Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Dukes See a Movie: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

From the get go this movie had me in knots with a pros and cons list. I kept vacillating from "this is a must see" to "you will see me in hell before you see me in a theater for this movie!" To help explain these extremes I will share with you my pros and cons list, cons first of course.


  • Not a single Swedish film had been properly remade up to this point.(e.g. Let the Right One In(Let Me In in the remake), Intermezzo (an Ingmar Bergman classic that was remade with Willie Nelson, yes that Willie Nelson). Following the Ingmar Bergman vein I will mention Virgin Spring which was later redone as a low budget slasher called Last House on the Left which destroyed the original idea and made the movie absolutely awful. I warn all of you to never see that movie. I didn't even finish watching it and that should tell you something since I have seen Red Sonja twice.)
  • In the beginning it was thought that Kristin Stewart of Twilight fame(read:shame) would be playing the role of gritty Lisbeth Salander.
hot member of football royalty
super crazy hacker lady

Can you see her making this type of change? I can't since she barely commits to acting in the scenes she is in. 
  • I haven't read the book yet. As much as pains me I have to admit I haven't had a chance to read the trilogy and I usually like to go into a movie having read the story it came from.

  • I am Swedish so therefore I have been trained to love Swedish things like meatballs, Bjorn Borg, IKEA, polka music and bikini teams. Since this is a part of me and this movie was filmed and set in Sweden I almost had no choice.
  • Kristin Stewart was not cast! I don't think I should have to explain this one.
  • This remake unlike the others was going to be an action epic rather than an art house flick that gets butchered in its Hollywoodization. 
  • Rooney Mara was cast as Lisbeth. I like her because both of her great grandfathers founded National Football League teams and her sister is a fine actor in her own right (I would recommend seeing Stone of Destiny if you would like to see her sister, or American Horror Story if you also happen to lack scruples).
So with this list in my mind I finally ended up leaning towards seeing this movie. (This shouldn't shock anyone since I will watch pretty much anything so when given the choice between go see a movie and don't go see a movie you can bet your buttons I will be going.) Since this movie was not one that would appeal to the majority of our movie going friends the three dukes without scruples/movie filter went solo.  

As the film starts we see Mikael Blomkvist(Daniel Craig), a disgraced journalist get hired by a rich man to find out what happened to his niece 40 years earlier. As he is searching through the records he finds something he much more sinister and nefarious than he could have imagined at the beginning. In an attempt to figure everything out that he needs he hires a research assistant named Lisbeth Salander who has had one of the roughest lives imaginable. She is considered unstable but she is also a brilliant researcher and computer hacker. Together they work towards finding out what happened to the niece.

This movie is in a roundabout way a simple whodunit story mingled with an odd couple cop movie but it does it in a way that is compelling, dark and slightly paranoid. even though the movie is nearly three hours long it keeps you engaged and you hardly notice the passage of time. Another great thing about this movie were the twists. A few things happened that I really did not see coming and I appreciate a movie that can do that.  There are a few scenes in this movie that are not for the faint of heart. It does have some graphic and disturbing images that managed to get every last one of the Dukes present to squirm( I may or may not have grabbed Coombsy's knee at some point).

While this movie was not as gritty and raw as the original I still really liked the way it was presented and the fact that it supposedly follows the book more closely than the first. If you want to see a high quality suspense movie and you don't have a tender tummy I would recommend this film to you.

Rating 4 stars

PS I thought this was an interesting tidbit. The main actors in the Swedish version of the film are currently starring in  the American version's main box office competition. Noomi Rapace (the original Lisbeth) was Madam Simza(the gypsy lady) in the most recent Sherlock Holmes film.  Michael Nyqvist (the original Mikael Blomkvist) was Hendricks(the main bad guy) in the most recent Mission Impossible. I felt that this was a cool fact and that is was something all of you should feel better for knowing.

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