8:00 PM, 1st March, 2012
Nobody expected Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy to succeed as well as it did, with the possible exception of the author (who planned a total of ten books). This explains the strange case of the Swedish movies: the first was a marvellously executed thriller; the next two were perfunctorily made for television. So even admirers of the Swedish film shouldn't mind seeing it readapted by Hollywood - it's a chance to re-launch the whole series properly - especially when the director is David Fincher, who was born for the task, combining the dark, monsters-amongst-us theme of Zodiac with the high-tech computer hackery of The Social Network - to name two of his best previous films.
It's hard to summarise the story when pretty much every character is enigmatic in one way or another, but the basic plot is that of a locked room mystery: many years ago, on a Swedish island, a young girl went missing - but the island was sealed, and she couldn't possibly have left, and nor could whoever did away with her. The mystery is steadily unravelled by a disgraced but incorruptible journalist (Craig) and the tough-as-nails eponymous girl with the dragon tattoo (Mara), who make an odd but effective pairing (and, ultimately, a fierce friendship).
If you've been holding out on this series because of the dark and confronting violence it contains, believe me: it's not as bad as you expect. Ultimately, this is a story of the good and evil in us all, in which one definitely triumphs over the other.