"Sweden’s answer to Dan Brown delivers a dark and disturbing thriller"

It seems like every week there’s a new literary phenomenon being turning into a flick for the silver screen – first came Harry Potter, followed by the Dan Brown books, and culminating most recently with the second instalment of the Twilight series.  However, whilst inevitably following in the success of their literary counterparts, the movie versions never quite live up to the hype – a literal case of lost in translation.

Following hot on their heels is the first instalment from the ‘Millennium Trilogy’, ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’.  I’m not in the best position to judge the book version, as I haven’t read it. However, anything described as an ‘international literary phenomenon’, with over 21 million copies sold, is probably going to be pretty good.

Almost predictably therefore, the film didn’t blow me away.  In a nutshell, Mikael Blomkvist (played by Michael Nyqvist), a celebrated investigative journalist, is tasked with uncovering the truth behind the disappearance of Cecilia Vanger, a 16 year old girl who vanished almost 40 years ago.  Aiding Blomkvist is Lisbeth Salander (a stunning performance by Noomi Rapace), a distinctly alternative sidekick which a disturbing past.  Other than being exceptionally dark in places, ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ doesn’t bring a lot more to the genre – it does what it does well, but it doesn’t break any new ground doing it.

Ultimately, its biggest enemy is time.  Simply put, even at two and a half hours long, there simply isn’t enough time for the film to deliver book-busting levels of detail.  I don’t need to read the book to know that, at the very least, the characters of Mikael and Lisbeth are developed far more thoroughly.

For virgins to the ‘Millennium Trilogy’, ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ is a very competent crime thriller, but I can’t get rid of the nagging doubts that fans of the books would leave the cinema feeling very short changed.