I saw the English remake of this film prior to watching this one so I thought this was a tad underwhelming. The film is not in any way bad, in fact it differs enormously from its remake and that's a good thing, I just didn't find it to be as suspenseful or had me on the edge of my seat because I knew the outcome and I knew what these characters have already been through. Of course, I will judge this film as it is and not as I viewed it and that means that it's a bloody good movie.
The performances in the film were unbelievable. Before I viewed this movie I was already a fan of Noomi Rapace and this was her finest performance I've seen so far. The other actors I hadn't really seen in many other films, but they too were unbelievable. I find it really difficult not to compare this film to the remake, but I have to. Some of the performances in this film were even better than a few in the remake. And I preferred the remake!
The film's runtime was irrelevant because of how much I was enjoying the movie. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo runs close to 3 hours long in Australia, but it doesn't feel like that at all. The first film in the series is my favourite from the whole Millennium trilogy and that is simply because it was the most interesting, gripping and well written of the three. While it's runtime is the longest it feels so short and fast paced and I cannot praise this factor enough.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo demonstrates the difference between quality TV and movies very well. Modern TV has reached the standards of blockbuster movies with shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, True Detective etc. and this is proven with this movie. All three of these movies were originally filmed as a television show with two 90 minute episodes per book. This series shows that the best TV shows can be on par with the best movies and that was one of the most surprising aspects of this film.
To sum up, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo would have had me on the edge of my seat if it weren't for me having already seen the remake. The performances were unbelievable, the runtime flew by and it has a great TV to film conversion.
4 1/2 Stars