More of an action-light whodunit than a real thriller, and more of a CliffsNotes version than a deeply disturbing portrait of what's wrong with contempo Sweden.
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Every so often, you get the gift of watching an under-the-radar actor bloom into a critical-mass phenomenon before your bloodshot eyes: Franka Potente in "Run Lola Run," or Christoph Waltz in "Inglourious Basterds." Add Noomi Rapace to the list; what she does with the title character of this Swedish thriller-cum-pop-lit-adaptation will spawn cults of swooning Rapacephiles stat.
The cluttered narrative leaves little room for character development, though director Niels Arden Oplev does manage to accommodate plenty of gratuitous torture and rape.
The film makes excellent use of the cold Scandinavian landscape to emphasize the story's gloomy loneliness. And Rapace and ? Nyqvist have compelling chemistry.
The film version stars a wonderful Swedish-Icelandic actress named Noomi Rapace as the hacker and Michael Nyqvist as the reporter. They are excellent and subtle and honest.
A compelling thriller to begin with, but it adds the rare quality of having a heroine more fascinating than the story.
The result is a character-driven mystery of considerable emotional power, often harrowing and always compelling.
Tattoo is as much mood piece as mystery, and the mood is almost always disturbing.