Archive for August 29th, 2010

A year after the events of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) is in the Caribbean until she is compelled to return to Sweden. Meanwhile Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) and his colleagues at millennium magazine are working on a story involving sex trafficking. When Lisbeth is implicated in a murder Blomkvist is one of the few people who believers her to be innocent and sets to work trying to prove it.

As the weakest of the three source novels it stands to reason that this adaptation wouldn’t be as good as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Having said that it is still a really good movie. I accept that the plot is simplified and the supporting characters are marginalised as they were in the first, both because of time constraints however the tone of the movie suffers in comparison to the novel. The two most notable instances are the glossing over the horrors associated with the sex industry and the toning down of the media circus involved in hunt for Salander, both of these reduce the impact and meaning of the story. The structure of the movie also suffers from a pet hate of mine, poor portrayal of time and space, we are never quite sure of where or when anything happens in relation to each other.

Keeping the two main characters apart for the majority of the movie was an interesting plot device in the book, it doesn’t work as well in the movie taking Blomkvist away from the action. Add this to the fact that Salender is the real star of the movie and Blomkvist is strangely redundant for a lot of the movie in a way he wasn’t in the book. Two characters that I am glad made it to the screen are Miriam Wu (Yasmine Garbi) a kickboxing lesbian and occasional lover of Salander and Paolo Roberto a former champion boxer who in a strange twist is a real life boxer turned actor who plays himself. These two characters share the best scene in the movie that doesn’t feature Salander when they fight Ronald Niedermann (Micke Spreitz) a near giant that doesn’t feel pain. For those who were repulsed by the sexual violence of the first movie, it is toned down dramatically this time earning it just a 15 certificate (in the UK). There is still some bloody violence but it isn’t disturbing the way it was first time around.

We now know that Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig will be taking over the characters of Salander and Blomkvist for the American remake(s), they will have to go a long way to improve upon Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist who are nothing short of perfectly cast. For Noomi Rapace, Salander is like James Bond or the kids in the Twilight and Harry Potter movies, whatever else she does she will always be associated with this character, but this is testament to how good she is. Despite being a little too old and a little too tall for the part I can’t imagine anyone else doing a better job. The secret to the power of the performance is bringing a certain emotional attachment to a character almost devoid of emotion. And that’s how and why the movie works and appeals, you actually care about what is going on and what will happen to these characters.

Ultimately whist The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was a great movie with a compelling murder mystery story, The Girl Who Played With Fire feels more like a setup or steppingstone for the final part of the trilogy. Its worth seeing for fans of the books or the first movie but don’t expect it to be as good as either.

Three Stars out of Five



The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest will be in UK cinemas from 26th November 2010

Read Full Post »