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4.0 out of 5 stars
The Girl Who Played with Fire
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Fire, the Movie

After reading the book, The Girl Who Played With Fire, I went onto Amazon Video On Demand and watched the Swedish adaptation of the book. Let me tell you, this was in many ways quite a let-down.

Yes, when I see a movie after reading the book, I do expect some divergence from the original works. I mean take a look at Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, two book to film adaptations that I felt were well-paced and captured the spirit of the author's intent.

However, "Fire" does not do that well. Pretty much every single subplot was cut out of the film. Literally! I can understand cutting out the Caribbean scenes from the book, but none of the betrayal inside the police investigation was ever shown. Nothing was explained about Salander's wealth nor why she suddenly got this huge 20 million Kroner house.

The choppy scenes and quick cuts and tight dialogue made for an extremely rushed first half.

The second half was better I think for a couple of reasons: the second half honed closely to Larsson's rendition -- the hunt for Zala, the blonde giant's fight with Paolo, the lesbian understanding with Salander, etc., were nearly scene for scene from the book. There were minor differences but nothing to quibble about.

The ending was quite different from the book. Without giving away spoilers, unlike the book's ending, the police were efficient and the doctor's were forthright -- quite different!

Noomi Rapace as Salander and Michael Nygvist as journalist Blomkvist were excellent in reprising their roles. I really missed the subplots of the editor's secret offer, the men-hating investigators who wanted to get at Salander, and the police chief Bublanski coming across as a dense cop rather than in the book as the only cop who knew what was going on.

The film was bare-bones of what the book breathed and lost what I felt was the heart of the book. A few good scenes, a decent ending, rushed plot. Average!

Can't wait for the American version!

Read the Books!

Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy Deluxe Boxed Set: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Plus On Stieg Larsson
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
I took the opposite tack in reviewing The Girl Who Played With Fire than The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In the case of Dragon Tattoo I read the book before seeing the movie, in The Girl who Played with Fire I saw the movie first.

With the movie The Girl who Played with Fire it seems a formula has been discovered. The story runs parallel between Lisbeth Salander, Mikael Blomkvist until towards the end the stories intersect. Lisbeth returns to Sweden to find that her state appointed "guardian" has been murdered and a gun found at the scene has her fingerprints on it. Blomkvist and his Millenium magazine are investigating a prostitution ring with high connected and influential clients. Unfortunately, this time around the stories seem too independent and separate from each other. Blomkvist and Salander only have minimal contact throughout the movie and there doesn't seem to be any real connection between them except the storyline dictates a reunion. When they do reunite there's no emotional impact or sense of relief that once again they were able to help each other.

None of the plot twists as they are revealed are too surprising. As a matter of fact they seem rather pedestrian and a little too predictable. In the film there also seems to be a little nod to Tarantino and maybe even Frankenstein, as the murderer has qualities that make him seem almost an invincible adversary incapable of being killed.

Lisbeth doesn't really seem to be playing with fire except in the literal sense that she lit her abusive father on fire. It doesn't seem like Lisbeth is playing with fire in a figurative sense. Her character is more reactive to situations, and it seems more like Lisbeth was playing with fire in her actions during The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Of course, in Dragon, the tattoo is just there, it has no active part in the plot except that Lisbeth has a dragon tattoo.

The Girl Who Played With Fire seems more of a disjointed movie than Dragon Tattoo. One of the criticisms of Dragon Tattoo was it being disjointed and as I said I read the book before seeing the movie of Dragon Tattoo so maybe I was able to fill in the blanks I wasn't able to with The Girl Who Played with Fire. It may be disjointed for those who haven't read the book.

With Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist reprising their roles as Lisbeth and Blomkvist respectively, their performances are still strong and believable as the characters. It's just the material they're given isn't as strong as the first movie.

There was a technical issue that was distracting. Some of the subtitles got lost in the bottom of the frame or were washed out by light. Hopefully that's a problem that can be corrected on the DVD.

A shortcoming of sequels is that they try to recreate the exact elements of the original reducing all the elements that made it new, interesting and different down to a formula. The Girl Who Played With Fire seems to fall into this trap.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I immensely enjoyed the trilogy of movies that include "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", "The Girl who played with Fire" and "The Girl who kicked Hornest nests".

Each movie is more than just a sequel to the next; each movie is a continuation from the preceding film, starting right from when and where the other one left off. Although, they are continuations, each film stands on their own and each film is completely different in tone, context, pacing and themes;

"Tattoo" is a mystery,

"Fire" is a revenge/action story and

"Hornet" is a court room drama.

"Fire" utilizes a different director from "Tattoo" and the different movie making style is quite apparent.

"The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo" is a mesmerizing mystery that is slow-paced yet, that same slow pace is effective in creating a very stirring drama. Although sometimes tending to be melodramatic, there are historical motifs involving Nazism, incest and misogyny that create the excuisite framework of this unsettling yet excellent movie. The film does not rely on action since the plot, mystery, character development and revelations/lack of predictibility contribute to it's excellence. The Girl Who played with Fire" does nearly not have the ingredients that make 'Tattoo" such a compelling movie.

Without creating an unneccessary spolier alert, "The Girl who played with Fire" provides an explanation as to the origins of the heroine, Lisbeth, how she deals with it and how "it" deals with her. Since she assisted him in his woes on the previous movie, journalist Blomkvist now helps Lisbeth with her own woes. The story is interesting, it operates at a faster pace than "Tattoo" and it acts as a very satisfying sequel to the preceding film. A new character is introduced that takes this series from a realistic movie and practically take sit to "James Bond" level. The villainous character is fascinating yet wholly inconsistent to the villains from the first film.

It's not that there is anything wrong with this movie, in fact, this overly-European approach to the action/mystery genre will act as fresh approach when compared to the usual Hollywood dreck. The only problem, if you want to call it that, is that the movie is different, and therefore inferior to "Tattoo". It does not have the unexpected plot twists, eerie atmosphere, or emotional power that it's predecessor has. "Fire" lacks the originality of the first one and, consequently, lacks the impact of "Tattoo".

It would be pretty much impossible to have an interest in "Fire and enjoy this movie without first viewing "Tattoo". If you watched the first two movies, then it is inevitable that you already have or planning on seeing "Hornet" which concludes the trilogy. Although it is not as good as "Tattoo", "Hornet" is a very satisfactory conclusion to the ongoing story.

I would rate "Tattoo" the best, followed by "Hornet" and then "Fire".
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2010
The second part of the movie adaptation of the Millennium trilogy is not a bad movie, but compared with the first installment (which I loved), it is quite murky and confusing (this was made by a different dirctor; if you haven't seen the first film many scenes are probably close to incomprehensible). Soon after the movie starts, Lisbeth Salander is on the run as she is accused of a murder she did not commit, chased not just by the police but also by a blond giant umpervious to pain that seems to be out from a role as a villain in a James Bond movie. Eventually, a man belonging to Lisbeth's past seems to be behind much of her troubles. Meanwhile, a second plotline (loosely connected with the first one) has a young colleague of Mikael Blomkvist along with his fiancé murdered when they were writing an expose of the international sex trade. Blomkvist has no choice but to continue their investigation. Fast, but much of what happens is too ugly to be very entertaining. Unlike the first part, this one ends in an inconclusive manner, with a lot of loose ends that will presumably be cleared up in the third part.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 24, 2011
While this is a nice continuation from "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo", it didn't have the same impact for me as the first movie. I felt it was rushed and all the information you needed was not provided on how things hooked up between the new journalist and Lisbeth. It did however provide background information into Lisbeth's mindset and what happened to her. Some parts I didn't feel were believable, but it did keep my interest far enough for me to want to see the last installment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2014
As a matter of clarification, I would point out that I would prefer a subtitled movie to a dubbed movie every day. This movie is no exception. The dubbing is not great also, and the voices dont match the characters themselves.

As a movie, this one was not as good as the first one. As outlandish as the first movie was, the story was believable. This one teeters on the brink of unbelievability and makes a good movie almost laughable at points. At least its not as bad as the third one though!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2013
Why is this dubbed?? I had to watch the non-HD version on netflix instead of the HD version on Amazon to avoid the dubbing. 5 stars for the movie, 1 star for the lack of a subtitled option = 3 stars for amazon's version of this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 28, 2010
"The Girl Who Played With Fire" is not as good of a film adaptation as "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" was. Although the acting is excellent, I was disappointed with the screenplay itself. So much material from the book was cut, and while I understand that not everything can be included in the movie version, I think the filmmakers cut too much in this case. Many details from the book were also changed for reasons I do not understand. Why deliberately change something if it has no impact on the movie plot? I was also disappointed with the way Erika Berger and Zala were portrayed in the movie...they are watered-down versions of their literary characters. Ultimately, I didn't think this film was nearly as powerful as the book, especially the ending. It was entertaining, but could have been a lot better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2012
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo's impact has made its way around the movie industry very quickly. In fact, maybe too quickly. It's already being remade, before its sequel had a chance to become as popular. Nonetheless, The Girl Who Played With Fire is in theatres now, and while it may not be as good as its predecessor, it's still pretty good crime thriller. The mystery aspect of these stories is what makes them. Thank god this movie uses it to its full advantage. I found myself getting more and more intrigued in the story as it progressed. That's always a good thing. That said, I did find many scenes amateurish due to the low budget. I definitely cannot, and will not hold that against it. But they can do magic with small budgets these days (a la District 9). There may be a few issues here and there, but the good outweighs the bad. This is a very well written film. I won't say that for the dialogue, because I spent the entire time reading subtitles obviously, and who knows how they tamper with translations, but the screenplay is well executed and tight. The acting is great as well. Very believable, which is what lacks in many films today.

Mainly our leads, and most of the supporting actors/actresses did fantastic jobs. I wasn't too impressed with the big blonde Russian. He reminded me too much of the Russian from The Punisher. His character did not require very much range, but I think he could have been a little better. Like I said, the leads were great though. Noomi Rapace returns as Lisabeth Salander, and she is perfect. Michael Nyqvist also returns as Mikael Blomkvist. I'm anxious to see Daniel Craig fill his shoes in the remake. So, I highly recommend this movie, especially if you have seen the first one. If not, you should definitely pick it up or watch it on demand, or whatever you choose. I suggest you see that one first, if you have not yet. This one is a good follow up to that story. I probably would not have liked it as much if I hadn't seen the first one. There is one more book in Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, called The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest (I believe). I look forward to seeing the conclusion to this trilogy on the screen. And as much as it irks me that the series is being remade already, I look forward to the American versions as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I read the book awhile back. In it, a character named Paulo Roberto, who is an ex-boxer, fights with a blond giant who can't feel pain. He almost wins. He certainly saves another minor character from a gruesome death. It's one of the true highlights of the book.

And one of the highlights of watching this movie is seeing the name "Paulo Roberto" in the credits, and realizing that he is a real person who plays himself, in a fictional role. Much like Dan Marino in Ace Ventura, but with substantially better acting. And his fight with the stoic Ronald Niedermann is probably the best action scene in a movie that could use a few more of them.

This movie takes a turn away from the self-contained serial killer story of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, and follows the adventures of societal mis-fit Elizabeth Salander, who is apparently connected on several levels to the darkest secrets of the Swedish government. Unfortunately, all three stories in the "Millenium Trilogy" have a bad habit of pretending to be about Salander, when they're really more focused on journalist Mikael Blomkvist, and whatever vast conspiracy he's threatening to unearth this week. Don't get me wrong, Blomkvist makes for a great protagonist (and is expertly acted by Michael Nyqvist), but Salander often gets relegated to the sidelines (she spends most of the movie hiding out as a murder suspect).

The movie tends to be more straightforward than the book. If you're a purist, you probably won't like that. Subplots are excised, and so are main plots. The central murders of the story are because of an illegal sex trade, but this is barely mentioned again, once we find out Salander's prints are on the gun.

The movie ends with a quasi-cliffhanger, as Salander tracks down her long-lost father, who is more or less not happy to be found. If you want all your loose ends neat and tidy, you'll have to watch part three (THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST).
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