The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009)

The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009) — This film trades in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo director Niels Arden Oplev for director Daniel Alfredson (whose brother Tomas directed the amazing Let the Right One In). This, along with some other issues, means that the film isn’t quite as good as the first. The film also has a bit of Empire Strikes Back syndrome, where the ending provides little resolution and you have to see the next film to see the plot resolved. That’s not so bad if you’re expecting it though. I will need to see this film again sometime later because things missing from the book bothered me. Films should be judged on their own merits, as opposed to by their source material but I’m only human. Many of the investigative aspects of the book were missing. The film also suffers for the fact that the two protagonists Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander are kept apart for 98% of the movie. The chemistry between perfectly-cast Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace are a large part of what made the first film work. In the book we are privy to their innermost thoughts and this helps that problem but the movie lacks that omniscience. The story is still pretty compelling. There is a murder, a long list of suspects, and an innocent framed for it. What’s not be interested in? I look forward to the third film, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (also directed by Alfredson) as well as the English-language remakes rumored to be directed by David Fincher, who I could see doing wonders with the material (since all he touches is awesomeness).

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