August 6, 2010

The Girl Who Played With Fire - 2010

Director: Daniel Alfredson

Writers: Nikolaj Arcel & Rasmus Heisterberg

Starring: Noomi Rapace & Michael Nyqvist

The second film of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy continues the adventures of hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rapace) and journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Nyqvist). In this follow-up to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Blomkvist takes up a co-worker's investigation of a sex trafficking ring following the death of said co-worker and his girlfriend, and Salander must clear her name when framed for their murders (in addition to the murder of her guardian).

This film is head and shoulders above most of what Hollywood produces nowadays (Cats and Dogs 2: the Revenge of Kitty Galore, for example), but it was a little disappointing compared to the first film. Blomkvist doesn't have as much to do in this film, but this has a silver lining: a lot of Salander's important backstory is exposed, ending the shroud of secrecy the character was cloaked in for the first film. Fire's plot is also a bit more straightforward, and includes a couple trite moments. My main fault with the film, however (which I won't go into too much for spoiler purposes) is that the big reveal in the climax requires a major event from the first film to be considered in a different light than I understood it at the time. It also ends on a negative (and slightly ambiguous) note, very much the Empire Strikes Back of this Swedish saga.

It was brought to my attention that I should start explicitly rating the films I see, rather than just a yes/no. I can't think of a personalized replacement to replace the hackneyed star system (suggestions are appreciated), so I'll go with the slightly-less-used school grade version instead. This one gets a B+.

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