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Review: ‘Dragon Tattoo’ as Dark and Edgy as the Tattoo Itself


Title: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Studio: Yellow Bird
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Actors: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Peter Andersson, Sven-Bertil Taube, Marika Lagercrantz

I have no doubt in my mind that “Lisbeth Salander” (aka. the girl with the dragon tattoo) could absolutely kick my ass.

Part of that probably has to do with me being a complete pussy, but more of that has to do with the fact that the leather-wearing, piercing-riddled, bi-sexual hacker is a terrifying human being who would rather slash me with a broken bottle than crack a smile.

Fortunately for me, she’s too busy being the main reason to see this excellent movie.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a Swedish film based on a series of best-selling crime novels. Salander is the common thread in the book and film trilogy, also consisting of The Girl Who Played with Fire (released this weekend) and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (to be released later this year).

When a disgraced former reporter (“Mikael Blomkvist”) is hired by a wealthy benefactor to help research the murder of his niece, he receives a bit of extra help from Ms. Crazypants – in the form of her snooping around his computer files and figuring out case clues. But, not one to look a gift hacker in the mouth, he brings her into the investigation instead of sending her tattooed ass to jail, and with their powers combined, the unlikely duo play detective for the remaining hour and a half.

The mystery of the niece’s death may be the central plot, but Salander and Blomkvist are the real core of the story. Superbly acted by Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist, the two are a strong centre to a string of supporting characters, and give the story a sense of believability and realness. I mean, what’s more real than a quiet, middle-aged man and his spunky, goth-hacker sidekick?

The writing is sharp, and besides a few mystery genre clichés, this dark, gritty story is original enough to keep an audience engaged. Let’s put it this way: whatever the story may lack in excitement by its own merit, the movie makes up for by the simple injection of our motorcycle-driving heroine. Did I mention she is terrifying?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a fantastic mystery film, and so far, one of the best movies of year. Watch it or she’ll come looking for you.

Sven-Bertil Taube

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