Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (18) ****

Have your say

Familiarity breeds nagging comparisons rather than contempt in David Fincher’s English-language remake of Niels Arden Oplev’s acclaimed Swedish crime thriller.

It’s been less than two years since British audiences gnawed their nails to the cuticle watching the graphically violent and gritty original. Fincher’s version oozes style from the opening credits and the Oscar-nominated director delivers an eye-catching cinematic experience, aided by cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth, who captures the stark beauty and fragility of the wintry Swedish locales.

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is found guilty of slandering a prominent industrialist in his magazine Millennium, edited by on-off lover Erika Berger (Robin Wright). With his reputation in tatters, Mikael accepts a commission from the reclusive Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer).

The old man is haunted by the disappearance of his great-niece Harriet almost 40 years ago and, aided by computer expert Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), the unlikely sleuths follow the trail of secrets and lies as skeletons fall out of the Vanger closet.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is as emotionally cold as the barren lands where the case unfolds and Fincher’s film isn’t helped by Craig’s charisma-free portrayal. Thankfully, Mara is beguiling as the tattooed and pierced avenging angel with a brilliant mind, although she falls short of Noomi Rapace’s heartbreaking interpretation in the original film.