So what is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?
Well, I could liken it to a twelve-piece extra-crispy bucket of dark with nasty sauce on the side.
I could suggest that after seeing it you would think of renaming The Silence of the Lambs to The Barely-interrupted Frolicking of the Lambs.
It's the story of Mikael Blomkvist, a disgraced journalist who, like Dan Rather, passed up the chance at a juicy story to publish a much juicier, but ultimately false one that left his career in tatters and him waiting to serve a 6 month prison term. It's the story of Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant twenty-something security researcher/investigator with a lifetime of problems she refuses to run away from. It's the story of Henrik Vanger, an elderly industrialist who is haunted by the unsolved disappearance of his favorite niece 40 years ago.
What happens when Vanger hires Lisbeth's employer to research Blomkvist before hiring him to take one last look into Harriet's murder, well, that's the movie.
I can't really say much more without giving away the important parts.
But, yes, it's dark and nasty. By the time Lisbeth smashes out the window of a SUV with a golf club as it races away from her, it's not even coincidentally funny. Yes, it was filmed long before Tiger and Elin Woods' little tiff last year.
Parts of the film are only endurable because you can tell that Lisbeth is the living embodiment of the three-fold rule: whatever you do to her, she's going to return it in spades.
On top of all that, it's a well-crafted mystery. Plot twists are logical yet unpredictable.
And then there's the cinematography. It's gorgeous. Truly beautiful. Clean, calculated, and yet totally natural and relaxed.
So go see it, but don't say I didn't warn you that it's not a fun ride...