Review: The Girl Who Played With Fire

Flickan som lekte med elden | David Alfredson, 2010

The last time we saw Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), she had helped Millenium magazine reporter Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) solve a 20-year-old mystery and bring down a serial killer, as well as some dirty businessmen. Now a year has passed and she is nowhere to be found. However, she has been keeping tabs on the people in her life. This leads her to check up on her probation officer, who raped her and she recorded it all and then tattooed him with a reminder of what he had done. She learns that he is planning on having that tattoo removed, and goes back to scare him a bit. But then he turns up dead, and she is blamed for it, as well as the murder of a Millennium magazine reporter and his girlfriend who were on the verge of unveiling who is behind a human trafficking ring in eastern Europe. And so now Michael Bompvkist must prove her innocence, while she will try to find out who framed her.

I liked The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo quite a bit, not for the filmmaking, but for the story and Noomi Rapace’s performance. Her performance is still great here in The Girl Who Played With Fire, but the story is not quite as interesting. This is mainly because it is only half a story, and so far we don’t know how it all fits with Lisbeth’s back story and why would someone believe that she just killed those people when she only had a connection with the probation officer. Then they get into all this stuff with secret government deals and secret police that just come out of nowhere. Plus there’s this whole deal with a Frankenstein-ish person, and other silly stuff.

Also, the filmmaking is as average as the last movie. There are times when director David Alfredson tries to be stylish but it never works in the context of the story at that time. The aesthetic is ugly, and not in a way that fits the story, but downright ugly, the sex is even more gratuitous that the first movie, and it has the worst boxing fight I have ever seen in a movie.

However, despite all the cringe-worthy moments, I was never bored and it did move at a brisk pace, so I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it, but it’s not nearly as good as the first movie. I’m looking forward to seeing how the story ends with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, but I’m still looking forward even more to David Fincher’s take on the trilogy. He should be able to just poop out infinitely better movies.


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