MV5BMTczNDk4NTQ0OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDAxMDgxNw@@._V1_SX214_So here’s the thing. Along with everyone else in the whole world who isn’t actively avoiding the thing, I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and (so far only one of) its sequels at the height of their popularity as part of the whole Larsson phenomenon; my thoughts on the book and the circumstances in which I read it are here. I was intrigued when I heard that an English language movie version was being planned as I knew that the Swedish versions had been very well-regarded and that they had made Noomi Rapace a bit of a phenomenon. I do have to admit thought that I just coudn’t get on with the original language version despite trying quite hard, just couldn’t connect with it at all.

Anyway, along comes the US version with Daniel Craig as Blomqvist and Rooney Mara (of whom I knew nothing) as Lisbeth, and a cast of well-known, often British, actors to round out the remaining players in the drama of whether a young woman who has been missing for forty years is dead and if so who in the family killed her.

I really enjoyed this, surprisingly so given the nature of the subject matter which is all about the torture, murder and mutilation of women. I said in my review of the book that I don’t mind unpleasant, and there can be a real difference between reading about something and seeing it portrayed on screen, but the film, while not shying away from the nature of the crimes involved, doesn’t shove it all in your face in an exploitative way. It is, however, very much an adult film and that needs to be borne in mind.

It’s quite a long film but I thought it was well-paced and stuck more or less to the story. The main actors were excellent but it was the supporting cast who did it for me, real favourites like Geraldine James and Donald Sumpter but most of all Christopher Plummer, one of my great acting heroes and really brilliant here, though in my view not on screen nearly long enough. It’s not clear whether the film-makers will pick up the sequels but this performs well as a standalone story, and I would recommend it if you haven’t seen it. A good, solid, stylishly filmed thriller.