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The toughest chick in Sweden returns to action inThe Girl Who Played with Fire, the second film adaptation of the late author Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy novels. That would be Lisbeth Salander, once again played with quiet, feral intensity by Noomi Rapace. As Larsson's readers and anyone who saw the first film (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, also released in 2010) knows, Lisbeth is small in stature but big trouble for any man who crosses her--after all, this is the woman who set her father on fire after he abused her mother and later, after being released from a mental institution, took extreme revenge on her legal guardian after he brutally assaulted her (those scenes are briefly revisited for the enlightenment of those who missed the earlier film). Also back is investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), Lisbeth's erstwhile lover and partner in solving theDragon Tattoomystery. When two of his young colleagues are killed while at work on a story about sex trafficking, followed shortly by the murder of the aforementioned guardian, Salander is the prime suspect. But Mikael is sure of her innocence; in fact, he's convinced she's the next victim, leading to a tangled tale in which Lisbeth learns more about her family and its very dark secrets than she ever wanted to know. The story is compelling, if a bit slow to take shape, and director Daniel Alfredson, taking over for Niels Arden Oplev, skillfully sustains the mystery and tension (there are also doses of nudity and violence, the latter much more graphic than the former). But Lisbeth isn't on screen nearly as much this time, and her relationship with Blomkvist, so central toDragon Tattoo, is almost an afterthought. Still,The Girl Who Played with Firewill certainly whet fans' appetites for the next installment,The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest; and considering the overall class and quality of these Swedish productions, one shudders to think how they'll turn out in the inevitable American versions, the first of which is due in 2011, with Daniel Craig as Blomkvist.--Sam Graham
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Details

CastMichael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace
DirectorDaniel Alfredson
MPAA Rating:  R
DVD Release Date:  October 26, 2010
Runtime:  129 minutes
Studio:  Music Box Films Home Entertainment
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review by . August 14, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
3 ½ Stars: The Story and Origins of Lisbeth Salander Begins...
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” was a near-excellent film mostly because of the direction by Niels Arden Oplev and the performance of Noomi Rapace. It was such a methodical, well-constructed thriller that was violent, emotionally repulsive and quite sinister which allowed its characters breathing space to generate the feeling of suspense and was a taut experience for its entire 150 minutes. Well, promising a follow up, the producers of the first film adaptation of the Swedish novels …
Quick Tip by . June 06, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
FIrst sequel to The Girl WIth The Dragon Tattoo has Mikael investigating human traffiking and sex slavery while trying to help Lisbeth clear her name for the murder of individuals involved in his investigation. A great story and an opening up of Lisbeths past make up for it's dull spots and gimmicks.
review by . June 20, 2011
Unstopable excitement in a well-told tale
I recommend this second film in the Stieg Larsson trilogy, and the other two as well. Of course the book is far better than the film. This is almost always true because the book has more details, greater characterization, psychological explorations, more depth, and additional sub-plots. Yet this film is filled with no-stop excitement, the acting is superb, and the scenery appropriate. While the film is in Swedish, I doubt that most people will find it hard to follow the subtitles. Additionally, …
Quick Tip by . February 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I seem to be in the minority when I say that I preferred this to the first film. I have a number of reasons, but mainly while "The Girl Who Played with Fire" isn't as dark or as suspenseful as "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", it is a much more realistic and character-driven work over all. My one real complaint with this series is that it is far too convoluted and ultimately while it attempts to lead its viewers on a complex detective search, what it ends up doing is falling into typical crime …
review by . July 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Novelist Stieg Larsson (Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy Bundle: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest most likely intended a long life for his offbeat couple, the steely intense Lisbeth Salander (played expertly by Noomi Rapace) and the intrepid journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist). Larsson's novels are littered with complicated (to the English reader) Swedish names whose corresponding characters seemingly have no real purpose …
Quick Tip by . September 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
It's amazing how quickly this series jumped the shark. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had everything going for it - a plot with no holes, two enigmatic lead characters who had great back stores and were charismatic in their own ways, two lead actors who I couldn't take my eyes off, pacing that wouldn't let up - I gave it four stars out of cinema snobbery, but it was as entertaining as anything I've seen in a long while. Then comes The Girl who Played with Fire, and though I still love looking at …
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