The late Stieg Larsson’s series of three mystery novels are huge hits, they have sold millions of copies. Those books were adapted into three wildly popular series of Swedish films, which made a star out of leading lady Noomi Rapace. So many were kind of confused seeing the films were going to be remade. For me I usually stand against remakes, I find most of them pointless. This film though with David Fincher behind the camera gives this film such a great atmosphere, also with the addition of Rooney Mara as the punk bad ass Salander makes this film not just good but possibly better than the original.
The plot follows disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist(Daniel Craig), career is crumbling all around him and is effecting his marriage. So when a rich reclusive Swedish industrialist Henrik Vanger(Christopher Plummer) to solve the disappearance of his niece that happened over forty years ago. As Mikael dives deep into his investigation and picks up Lisbeth Salander who is a young hacker. She has almost endless issues but stays on the mission. Together they are able to connect the young woman’s disappearance to a string of murders.
As a remake this film pushes past the original in many ways. First off Rooney Mara does a fantastic job as the lead. Her character continues to get underestimated and used in many ways. Yet she fights through it and is stronger than you might think. Daniel Craig here kind of takes a back seat, but it really works, his character is charming and well tempered. When the two are on screen the film really picks up because the two are great together. The only real problem this film has is that as a remake, we sort of figure out who the villain is easily just by the actors chosen. Wish they would have tried a little harder to hide who the villain was.
The real star is David Fincher who gives this film such a dark vibe. Even knowing the story or seeing the original you’ll feel the tension. The film never blinks or turns away from violence or sex, which is a breath of fresh air. Two scenes focus on anal rape and it would be tempting to spin it or not show it so straight forward. Fincher doesn’t blink and even though it’s disturbing it does make it clear to the audience that anything can happen. Fincher has a true vision and most of his films stand in my mind as great films, like Seven and The Social Network. This film very much belongs to be named with those. I for one hope Fincher returns for the other two films. It would be a real let down if he doesn’t step back up to the plate.