Thursday, November 21, 2013

Movie Review: The Girl Who Played With Fire

The second installment in the Millennium Trilogy, The Girl Who Played with Fire, continues the crazy story of Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This is the Swedish version of the movie that is, as of now, still available steaming on Netflix, as is the other two Swedish versions of the series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

I watched this movie because I was curious how the story of Lisbeth Salander progressed. To be honest I wasn't particularly fond of either the Swedish or American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The American version upon release was highly acclaimed, and is generally considered to be the better film. I would agree with that. The movie certainly has great cinematography, acting, and production value. Overall, Rooney Mara plays a more expressive (and arguably better) version of Lisbeth, but I find Noomi Rapace brings a little more "toughness" to the role, making it more believable that she can hold her own. Noomi seems to have grown more comfortable as Lisbeth in this movie.

Despite what I've just typed, my beef with both films is that they're both pretty typical and predictable. We've all seen too many of those murder-thriller movies where the bad guy pontificates on and on about his masterful evil plan to the tied-to-a-chair good guy until, it turns out, he's spoken too long and another good guy comes along to save the day. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo didn't add anything new to this tiresome formula, even though it's suppose to with an edgy female protagonist. The problem with Lisbeth is that she's arguably the biggest cliche of a character the universe has ever seen. She's not suppose to be, she's suppose to be "different." Seriously though, if you told a bunch of different people to make up a character who was "a bad girl," I bet you most of them would come up with a character like Lisbeth. Everyone would think "Umm ... okay ... let's see... someone different...Oh! I know! She's got to be dark! Yeah! Like, she's just all broody and stuff! Like, she has to have had bad stuff happen to her. Yeah, that's good. Oh! And she has to have piercings! Heck yeah! Lots, and lots, of piercings! And tattoos! What kind of bad girl doesn't have tattoos? Amirite fellows? Yeah! And she's got to be bisexual, because all "bad girls" are bisexuals. Yeah! And she to have crazy hacker/ninja skills because, hells bells, that's awesome!"

The Girl Who Played with Fire falls into the same pit traps. It's predictable and cliche, but the problem is this movie is even worse than the first. It's soooo slow in sections I contemplated about stopping and going to bed. 

This movie differs from the first in that it focuses on Lisbeth's past, particularly her relationship with her father. The first movie dealt with Lisbeth and Mikael working as detective duos, but here they do their detective work separately.

Oh, and the movie ends on a massive cliff hanger, which is just infuriating.

If you're on the fence about seeing this movie I would recommend skipping it. Wait for the American version if you have to see it. Though I believe there's been some scheduling issues between Daniel Craig and Rooney, so it may be a while before an American version is made, if ever.

Rating: 2/4 stars


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