NOOMI RAPACE MICHAEL NYQVIST
THE GIRL WHO
PLAYED WITH FIRE
Stieg Larsson’s bestselling books have spawned one of the most popular international sequel series of films I can remember. As Hollywood frantically tries to slop together an English version of the popular films; the sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is now in cinemas. Whether the introduction to such interesting new material is what made the first film so compelling, the sequel by director Daniel Alfredson (who will also be directing the 3rd one) feels longer and less satisfying. What makes both films truly unique is the character Lisbeth and the performance by Rapace.
Picking up a year from when we last saw Lisbeth (Rapace) who has just solved an age old mystery of life and death with her new bed buddy, journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Nyqvist). Lisbeth has abandoned everyone and everything including Mikael and gone into hiding. She reappears only after she is accused of murdering three people, one being her guardian whom she threatened with a video of him raping her. A sex trafficking group is purposely covering their tracks at the expense of Lisbeth. Mikael’s newspaper Millennium is covering the sex trafficking story and when their newest journalist is killed Mikael frantically tries to clear Lisbeth’s name.
The first film seemed to be very contained within this singular investigative story that had Lisbeth and Mikael mostly shut up in this old house; here the story revolves around many different plot lines and characters. Both films are full of important detail and certain character methods; however this director doesn’t seem to pick up the pace from before. There are many scenes of debate and dialogue that could have been cut down or edited better to make the film run smoother. The action sequences are sprinkled throughout the film however to keep you awake, but I still found myself a little bored.
Another element I missed from film one was the chemistry between Lisbeth and Mikael, clearly this is due to the writing, but the pair only have one tiny scene together. I think what made this project so appealing to so many is how it hits taboo subjects head on and that is certainly toned down in this sequel, except for the wild lesbian scene. One critic said these films do follow a standard thriller plot but the fact it’s done internationally makes it more appealing than some Hollywood film of the same nature.
Final Thought – Not as fresh, interesting or provocative as the first.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Jennifer Gih