I read all the books, I saw all the original Swedish movies, and now I’m starting all over with the English language version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. This version is faithful in spirit to Stieg Larsson’s novel. The books are so dense and so full of subplots, the movie would have to be incredibly long to fit it all in.
So I would say that director David Fincher and screenwriter Steven Zaillian did a really good job of distilling the essence of the book. At nearly two and a half hours, this movie is long by today’s standards, but it is not too long.
Daniel Craig is too fit and good looking to portray Swedish journalist Mikael Blomkvist. But he is such an excellent actor that if you hadn’t read the book you wouldn’t know that he is supposed to be an ungainly, chain-smoking, coffee swilling middle aged man.
Rooney Mara has won the coveted role of Lisbeth Salander. From what I’ve read, she really did get all of Salander’s body piercings. And she had her hair cut and dyed. Lisbeth Salander bears almost no resemblance to Rooney Mara!
So-yes this movie violent and action packed. For me it was not really suspenseful because I have read the book and seen the Swedish language version of the movie. But my two movie companions seemed to be on the edge of their seats. So that seems to be a good recommendation. I also recommend TGWTDT. And the next movie, The Girl Who Played With Fire, in currently in development, with the same cast. But I’ll have to wait until 2013 for that.