Catch 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' before she disappears

Posted: Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lisbeth Salander is leaving to

wn after tonight. Perhaps it is appropriate, given her character's style. Lisbeth, the heroine of Stieg Larsson's trilogy of novels called "The Millennium-series," does not care much for sticking around in one place for too long. She is not really into letting perfect strangers in to her life. So, perhaps six days in Juneau was long enough to make her feel a little antsy.

Larsson, who died of a heart attack in 2004, was not around to see the novels published; too bad, considering they have sold more than 20 million copies in 41 countries. Just ask Stephenie Meyer what happens when a series of novels becomes that popular. The difference, for now, between Larsson and Meyer is that the first movie to be made from his work (the first in the series, called, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo") was made in Sweden. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are nowhere to be found.

That is why, especially if you read Larsson's novel, you should go see Niels Arden Oplev's film at either 4:10 p.m. or 7:40 p.m. today in the Valley. The subtitles are only a minor nuisance, and even then only for the first few minutes of the movie while you adapt. On the whole, even at 150 minutes, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" is a thoroughly enjoyable and fast-paced thriller. You have not heard of the actors, but they are superb. Noomi Rapace, especially, seems as if she were designed specifically to play Lisbeth. Her reluctant bond with Mikael (Michael Nyqvist, also good) is believable and their adventure together is a blast to watch.

Genuine heroines like Lisbeth are rare in film; she is not Angelina Jolie the action star (although Jolie should be commended for her ability to carry action films all by herself). Lisbeth is a twenty-four year old hacker with a very checkered past. Oh, and fair warning for those that are not familiar with "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," there are some rather graphic scenes involving a sadistic probation officer and Lisbeth. He is such a horrible human being, in fact, that when Lisbeth (just as graphically) finally turns the tables on him... it is actually satisfying to watch. Beyond Lisbeth, Larsson's story is a fascinating piece of serial-killer-fiction, and Oplev has done the novel justice (that's coming from someone who has not read it yet, but I feel confident in saying it nevertheless).

The American version is rumored to be in the works. It is rumored to be targeting a 2012 release. It is rumored that Carey Mulligan ("An Education") will play Lisbeth and Viggo Mortensen will play Mikael under the direction of David Fincher.

Do yourself a favor and ignore the rumors long enough to watch this version; Hollywood cannot do it any better.

If "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" is not going to make it into your plans today or tonight, however, there are two options on the horizon. "The A-Team" opens tomorrow here in Juneau and I, for one, have gone from scoffing to anticipating. The previews have me thinking Bradley Cooper (Face), Liam Neeson (Hannibal) and company are going to do the old TV show proud.

"The Karate Kid" also comes out this weekend. In the late Pat Morita's spot is Jackie Chan and Ralph Macchio (whatever happened to that dude?) has been replaced by Will Smith's kid, Jaden. I actually like Jaden, but... really? "The Karate Kid" needed to be redone with Chan and Jaden Smith? Really?

Lisbeth Salander could totally kick Jaden Smith's butt, by the way.

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