REVIEW: The Girl Who Played With Fire

After the masterpiece that was The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, expectations were exceedingly high for the sequel of this underrated Millennium trilogy but it really did take a lot for The Girl Who Played With Fire to beat this one. However, it didn’t quite manage to do just that but it still is a great sequel that was noble enough to its predecessor that became a great build-up to the final installment of the trilogy. Despite that the film had the same characters played by the same actors, the dialogue of this is almost completely different to its predecessor and we learn more into the past of the main characters. Once again like the predecessor, I watched it in the original Swedish language because then would still feel real and would sound pretty fake if in English. Besides, there already is a Hollywood version of the first film and maybe even a Hollywood version of the trilogy itself.

One bit of credit that I will give The Girl Who Played With Fire over The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and that is that because the predecessor had in many ways, a very similar dialogue to some films that we have seen in the past,The Girl Who Played With Fire felt more like a film on its own and was something that we hadn’t really seen before until now. Also, this was perhaps a bit more emotional but despite that those two main key points where the sequel is better than the predecessor, I do still think that the first one is better because it is a lot more powerful and the acting, directing and screenplay was better.

The same duo Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace return in the sequel and despite that both of their performances were still great, I didn’t find them as serious or as committed as they were in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Blomkvist is once again on the trail of solving a mystery but this time, about his former allie and work partner so to speak Lisbeth Salander. There were moments where Blomkvist wanted to investigate for the Millennium magazine he works for but because he once had a close relationship with Lisbeth and still has feelings for her so he wants to clear her name as innocent. As for Noomi Rapace reprising her role as Lisbeth Salander, she makes a fantastic return but this time we see a slightly different person this time. Not only do we go deeper into Lisbeth’s past and childhood but we also see what she has become due to this. She also looked a lot better in this than the one before so a lot sexier! She really is an extremely underrated actress and she should have been a strong contender for Best Leading Actress for both in 2010 and 2009.

Niels Arden Oplev, who directed The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo unfortunately did not return as director of The Girl Who Played With Fireand it perhaps was a better idea if he did return because new director Daniel Alfredson who still did a good job didn’t quite deliver in the sequel exactly what Oplev did in the predecessor. Alfredson also directed The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest so let’s see how that turns out. Jonas Frykberg wrote a great script and adapted raw emotion with tension and on a few occasions some scary moments. Frykberg has only written scripts for TV programmes (teleplays, basically) until now so it isn’t bad and is a good start.

Overall, The Girl Who Played With Fire is a great sequel that perhaps doesn’t quite beat The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo but I still enjoyed it. This as well as its predecessor (and presumably the final instalment of the trilogy) proves that the Swedes do the best foreign language films. This should have got a lot of recognition and awards like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo did and should have got also but perhaps a bit more. An underrated sequel that was noble towards its predecessor and now excited about seeing the final instalment The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest now.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 18/05/2012.

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