Hollywood’s take on Stieg Larsson’s brutal murder story, starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig, is every bit as gripping as the original 2009 Swedish film.
With Fight Club director David Fincher at the helm, it was clear that Hollywood wasn’t going to pull any punches with Larsson’s work and, sure enough, Fincher’s film is dark and twisted, bleak and brutal – everything the book’s fans would want.
And it’s not just the story’s mood that he gets right. The casting is spot on, too. Mara, as punk-Goth computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace in the original), nails her character’s spiky complexity. Her tiny frame adorned with multiple tattoos (including the one of the title) and piercings, her emotionally damaged Salander is both vulnerable waif and ferocious avenger.
Co-star Craig, as crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist (originally played by Michael Nyqvist), proves a worthy foil, with enough brooding masculine charisma to make up for the fact that he alone among the cast doesn’t attempt a Swedish accent.
As compelling as they are on their own, the film truly takes off when the pair come together to investigate the 40-year-old disappearance of a teenage girl from an island owned by a wealthy, seriously warped Swedish family.