Reasons to watch:
- Compelling story
- Good whodunnit movie
- David Fincher
- Acting was good
- Very visceral and in your face
Reasons not to watch:
- It is dark and often disturbing
- Not for the light hearted
- Easy to skip if you have seen the Swedish version
- Quite long
Having already seen the Swedish version of the trilogy, it is pretty clear that there is little point to watching the American version unless you simply wish to view the story again. It is, as I expected, very similar. In many regards, it is a better movie. The shots are better, the direction is superior and I think Mara was a better Lisbeth, but not by much. Her acting may have been superior in my mind, but I preferred the Lisbeth character from the other film. She seemed more insane in the Swedish version, and that is obviously a big part of this whole series.
I would say if you have not seen the Swedish version already but want to know what all the hype is about, check out Finchers version. The Swedish version is of course subtitled, but for me that does not make for any reason to recommend the American version instead. I just think it was an overall better movie. A little bit easier to follow, better performances over all and much better direction. Also, Trent Reznor was once again able to come up with a fantastic score for David Fincher, just like he did for The Social Network. On something of a side note, Dragon Tattoo had what is probably my favourite opening title sequence since “the life of a bullet” from Lord of War.
In terms of things I did not like as much in this movie, I felt the ending went on just a bit too long, by maybe 5 minutes or so. Also, ***Minor Spoilers*** it would appear that Lisbeth wanted something more than a simple friendship out of Mikael, and I am not in favour of this at all. It was only hinted at, but it was enough for me to disagree with it. Lisbeth is not the kind of girl to want to be attached to another human being, much less a man. Even if that man is James Bond ***End Minor Spoilers***. Lastly, I couldn’t help but notice some product placement. A few too many times Lisbeth reached for a Coca Cola or ate a Happy Meal. And while it is not unusual for everyone to use MacBooks in the movies, it was to a new level in this movie. Of course there was a reason they were on their computers so often, but they were sifting through apps at some points and using the interface in much the same way as I have seen in a commercial demonstration of OSX Lion at a local electronics store. It bugged me only a little, and maybe I am just reading too much into it, but there you have it.
So overall, yes I liked the movie, but I couldn’t help feeling my time was a little bit wasted having already watched the Swedish version. I was pretty sure this would be that case, but I will watch anything David Fincher makes, so I was destined to watch it anyway.