The Girl Who Played With Fire (15)

Following the immense awesomeness of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, expectations are pretty high for the second movie in The Millennium Trilogy, based on Stieg Larsson’s gargantuan books.
In The Girl Who Played With Fire we pick up with Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nygvist), who have returned to their separate spheres after their unlikely crime busting alliance in the first film.
When a young journalist working for Mikael’s magazine is murdered and Lisbeth is implicated, the two protagonists get drawn into a murky underworld to crack the case and prove Lisbeth’s innocence, battling with some very personal demons along the way.
The film is weighed down by its own plot, cramming so much in it becomes a cumbersome, clunky thing.  But what distinguishes The Millennium Trilogy from other who-done-it thrillers populated with snooping journos and crooked cops, is Lisbeth Salander.
She’s made from the same mould as Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley, women ready to kick some serious bad guy butt, but with substance and heart to their characters. Lisbeth has been well and truly dumped on from a great height her whole life, let down by everybody she ever trusted. Instead of simpering, Lisbeth carves her own path, existing right on the fringe of society, a computer hacking goth vigilante, striking out at her enemies from the shadows.
What hinders the film most is the fact that Mikael and Lisbeth are separated for most of the movie, working on the case individually.
Their intriguing relationship is not explored further. The first film had bite and edge, it took risks, The Girl Who Played With Fire sticks to safer territory. Still, it ends on a high with dramatic closing scenes paving the way for what should be a cracking final instalment.
The Verdict
The old “difficult second film” chestnut, lacks the sizzle of the first instalment but gearing up for one helluva finale.
Anna Lord

In it
Noomi Rapace, Michael Nygvist

Behind it
Daniel Alfredson


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