Is the American Version of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ Better

If you or a trusted family member (probably from the Midwest — I speak from experience) is literate, then, next week, a movie that you most likely already know the ending to is opening called ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.’ Always looking for truth in advertising, this reporter can now break the news that, yes, there is a girl in this movie and, yes, she does have a tattoo of a dragon. Will you see ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’? Of course you will see ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,’ but you cant just yet because it doesn’t come out until December 21st. Until then, we answered every question that you could possibly have about ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.’

Q: How did your life change after watching ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’?

A: I’ll never listen to Enya quite the same way ever again.

Q: Is it safe to take my kids to see ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’?

A: Unless you’ve sat down with your kids to have that oh so uncomfortable chat about the birds and the bees and anal rape… no.

Q: Speaking of that scene, was it toned down from what we saw in the Swedish version for sensitive American audiences?

A: Good lord, no. In fact, I’d say what you will see in the American version is even more disturbing than the Swedish version. If that’s possible.

Q: Wait, isn’t it against the law for you to be writing about ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’?

A: No. You’re thinking of the kerfuffle that The New Yorker had with Sony over a studio embargo, which was lifted today. Also: There is no “law,” just nonsense on both sides.

Q: Did David Fincher change the ending of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’?

A: Yes.

Q: Did David Fincher change the ending of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ for the better?

A: Yes.

Q: Is the rest of the plot of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ the same?

A: For the most part, yes. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) has just lost his life savings in a libel case brought about by a financier who didn’t like the gist of the article that was written…

Q: And Mikael Blomkvist received jail time, too?

A: OK, that’s a minor change: Mikael gets no jail time in this version, so that’s never a concern.

Q: How much jail time will you get for breaking the studio embargo?

A: I did not break the studio embargo and, even if I did, there would be no jail time.

Q: And Lisbeth is still a scoundrel?

A: Lisbeth (Mara) is a scoundrel and she has still been hired to investigate Mikael by a rich tycoon-type named Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer).

Q: Why is Lisbeth hired by Vanger to investigate Mikael?

A: Because that’s the plot of the book and the plot of a movie that was already made. Regardless, eventually Mikael is hired by Vanger to investigate the disappearance of his niece, Harriet, which happened in the early 1960s. Mikael needs an assistant, so he hires Lisbeth.

Q: Is the American version of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ better than the Swedish version?

A: I realize that the Swedish version has fans, but I thought it was a drawn out bore. So, yes, it is — because the American version is quite great, actually.

Q: But wasn’t Noomi Rapace good as Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish version?

A: Yes, she was. Then again, she was acting opposite Michael Nyqvist who had the personality of my pet turtle in that film. Daniel Craig, on the other hand, is at the top of his game. In fact, this may be Craig’s best work to date. (Though, I do like him quite a bit, too, in ‘Layer Cake’ and ‘Casino Royale.’)

Q: How is Noomi Rapace in ‘Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows’?

A: Well, let me tell you. I’ve seen ‘Sherlock Holes: Game of Shadows’ and Noomi Rapace is [Review Embargoed to Avoid Jail Time].

Q: How is Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander?

A: Excellent. Any doubts about her ability to carry a major film should be put to rest.

Q: Do you have to have two back-to-back “o”s in your first name to even be considered to play the role of Lisbeth Salander?

A: Yes.

Q: What Rooney Mara’s best scene in ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’?

A: Let’s just say that whomever Rooney Mara dates in the future might get a tad anxious when she’s around anything resembling a metal prod.

Q: Is there any chance that your enjoyment of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ will inspire you to read the books?

A: No.

Q: Without looking, can you name the sequel to ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’?

A: ‘The Girl Who Kicked a Fire’?

Q: You do realize that these book are extremely popular, right? People just love them. Now that you’ve looked up the correct answer, do you feel guilty?

A: Strangely, a little bit.

Q: What’s the worst part about ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’?

A: It’s really long. At two hours and forty minutes, admittedly, the length of this movie isn’t the best. Three hours of your life could probably be better spent, you know, volunteering for a charity.

Q: If you’re going to be blurbed in the commercials for ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,’ what quote do you think will be used?

A: “The best three hours of your life!” Mike Ryan, Moviefone

Q: Does ‘The Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo’ feel like almost three hours?

A: No. But, as a warning, when you think it’s over, you’ve got quite a bit of time still left.

Q: How is James Gandolfini in ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’?

A: James Gandolfini is not in ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,’ just like he’s not in ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,’ no matter what the credits say.

Q: Is the tee-shirt that Lisbeth Salander wears in ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ now your favorite movie tee-shirt?

A: Yes. “Fuck You You Fucking Fuck” has now replaced the “What are you looking at Dicknose” tee-shirt that Stiles wore in ‘Teen Wolf.’

You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.

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