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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO (COLUMBIA PICTURES VERSION)

By D.E.Levine

I liked the original Swedish version of this film and couldn't understand why a remake was in the works so soon after the Swedish release.

The story in this Columbia Pictures version is fairly true to Stieg Larson's blockbuster but subtitles have been eliminated since Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara speak English instead of Swedish.

Even if you know the story, there is tension and suspense throughout the film, so the viewer's attention is held and there are still some surprises. David Fincher has produced a film that will appeal to the public because it has a stellar and recognizable Hollywood cast including Christopher Plummer, Robin Wright, Stelan Skarsgard and Joely Richardson.

The film has more Hollywood dazzle than the Swedish version. Craig is Mikael Bloomqvist, a journalist ruined by the expose of a corrupt industrialist. But unlike the original where he faced jail, there's no urgency here.

Hired by Henrik Vanger the patriarch of a wealthy Swedish family where everyone is at the other's throat, and the head of a rapidly shrinking industrial empire. To the family Bloomqvist is working on a family history. But the actual reason is Henrik wants to know which one of his family members killed a favorite granddaughter in the 1960s and he wants Bloomqvist to re-open the case and investigate.

In need of expert assistance, Bloomqvist hires a punk researcher/hacker, a very disturbed young woman who lives outside the law, is covered with tattoos and body piercings and steals data by whatever electronic means necessary. A ward of the state, she has to contend with a creepy, blackmailing probation officer and knows Bloomqvist's most hidden secrets since she investigated him prior to his hiring.

It's a good thriller and very entertaining. People who missed the Swedish version when it was in theaters will definitely enjoy this and probably won't know the difference as the changes made in the film will obviously be incorporated into the next two films of the trilogy.