9 sept. 2010

My Review: The Girl Who Played with Fire (7/10)

¨Now the girl with the dragon tattoo will play with fire.¨

The Girl Who Played with Fire is the second part of the Millennium trilogy from Stieg Larsson`s novel which was a huge success in Sweden. The original title of this second installment is Flickan Som Lekte Med Elden, which has the same meaning in English (the other two novels had the title changed in the translation, the first part The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo actually was titled The Men who Hate Women). The trilogy is being made into a movie in Hollywood now (directed by David Fincher), but I still recommend the original Swedish versions which are great films. This sequel isn`t nearly as good as the first movie, but it still is a smart thriller that works in most part thanks to the rich characters that Larsson has created. This film is missing some of the beautiful landscape that we got to see in the first movie, the mystery is not as intriguing either, and there aren`t any new interesting characters. I think that the direction and the screenplay has a lot do with why this film didn`t live up to the first one. This film was directed by Daniel Alfredson instead of Niels Arden Oplev, who had directed the first part, and the screenplay was also adapted by a different writer (Jonas Frykberg) so the dialogue doesn`t flow as well as the first movie did. I am glad they didn`t change the actors because that would have been a mess. Noomi Rapace has played one of the most interesting computer hackers I´ve seen on film. She had very difficult scenes, especially in the first one, but she still managed to give a great performance and in this movie we discover a lot more about her past. The success of the first movie keeps us interested in these characters and their story, so the movie still works although some of the original magic is missing.

The film picks up one year after the first one left us and Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) is back working at Millennium with his crew: Erika Berger (Lena Endre) and Malin Erikson (Sofia Ledarp). A young journalist named Dag (Hans Christian Thulin) is applying for a position at the magazine and tells the crew he is investigating a sex-trafficking ring. Dag gets the position and they guarantee him they will publish his work, but they have to have strong evidence before doing so. In the meantime, Lisbeth (Noomi Rapace) is living a luxurious life, but is still haunted by several things from her past. She has been living abroad, but returns to Sweden in order to keep track on her court appointed guardian, Nils Bjurman (Peter Andersson), who has to continue giving positive reports about her or else she will release the tape she made in the first movie. She hasn`t been answering Blomqvist`s calls and it has been nearly a year since they last spoke. Some people aren`t very happy with the investigation of the sex-trafficking ring since it involves some high powers in government, so Dag is murdered along with his girlfriend. The prime suspect is Lisbeth since her fingerprints are on the murderous weapon that belonged to Bjurman who also is found murdered. Mikael knows Lisbeth is innocent and begins investigating some of the people involved in the ring, while she does some investigating of her own uncovering some dark secrets of her past while trying to stay hidden from the police.

It is hard to review this movie on its own, unlike the first one because that one had a decent ending in itself, but this second part serves more as a bridge to the third film then it does on its own. A lot of elements were left unconcluded and I am guessing they will address them in the third film. I really liked The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo much more than The Girl Who Played with Fire, but I can`t complain too much because I was still entertained by this decent thriller since I wanted to know more about these characters. Lisbeth and Mikael are probably one of the most unlikely duos on film, but they just work so well together and we can`t get enough of them. The villain in this film (played by Micke Spreitz) was kind of creepy and did a good job as well in his role. The producers wanted Dolph Lundgren to play this role, but Spreitz did a decent job. I guess I will have to wait and see how the third film turns out in order to better critique the trilogy, but for now I will just leave this to be continued. I want to see if they investigate more on the sex-trafficking ring because it was not touched very much in this second movie. I still recommend this movie, just don`t expect it to be as good as the first one, and know that this is only a bridge to the third film.

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