Billy Gray

Archive for December, 2011|Monthly archive page

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

In Movie Reviews on December 28, 2011 at 12:20 pm

There’s just one onscreen murder in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” David Fincher’s return to the serial killer genre. It’s bloodless, and committed by an innocent out of self-defense. Despite the film’s low body count, its nasty images outnumber pleasant ones. Its heroes smoke incessantly (in an inversion of recent rules limiting depictions of smoking to unsavory characters, the villain abstains), cheat on their spouses and putative orientations, and ruthlessly undermine the notion of its setting—Sweden—as the idyllic modern welfare state. There’s also an anal rape sequence co-starring the biggest dildo in Scandinavia en route to the indictment that latent Nazism and the decline of private industry account for Sweden’s manifest ills.

The Swedes will love it, because “Dragon Tattoo” is adapted from the first book in Steig Larsson’s blockbuster Millennium trilogy, texts so Swedish and of such immense popularity they’ve likely supplanted the Bible to become a post-foundational text in their secular native land. “Dragon Tattoo” introduces journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) and cyberpunk security hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). Forced into exile on libel charges, Blomkvist is summoned to the remote island of Hedestad by the wealthy Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), ostensibly to ghostwrite his memoirs but really to determine who killed Vanger’s niece, Harriet, 40 years ago. Blomkvist recruits Salander, a perpetual victim of men, to join the case. Read the rest of this entry »