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116 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action, Intensity, Chilling, Absorbing, A Fine Movie
"The Girl Who Played with Fire" - I did not read this second book in the Millennium trilogy so the movie was all new to me. Lisbeth Salander (perfectly delineated by Noomi Rapace, a great fit for the part)has been absent from Sweden for a year since we last met her in "Tattoo" living a life of luxury in various countries. She buys an apartment in Stockholm, but no one...
Published on July 15, 2010 by John F. Rooney

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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rushed Adaptation of Larsson's Excellent Novel!
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...
Published on February 5, 2011 by Scotman's Critic's Corner


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116 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action, Intensity, Chilling, Absorbing, A Fine Movie, July 15, 2010
"The Girl Who Played with Fire" - I did not read this second book in the Millennium trilogy so the movie was all new to me. Lisbeth Salander (perfectly delineated by Noomi Rapace, a great fit for the part)has been absent from Sweden for a year since we last met her in "Tattoo" living a life of luxury in various countries. She buys an apartment in Stockholm, but no one knows about it. The sexually ambivalent Lisbeth wants to get her dossier from her sadistic guardian, Bjurman, and when he isn't forthcoming, she warns him he may get another harsh dose of the previous punishment she doled out to him.
Meanwhile the movie follows a second track of narrative. Mikael Blomkvist (well-acted by Michael Nygvist), publisher of the muckraking magazine Millennium, has hired a free lancer to write an article about sex traffickers and the johns that are involved in the trade. He intends to out some of the prominent johns.
The two parallel stories are like procedural crime tales, and at a crucial stage, the two narratives intersect. There's violence, sex, gore, fires, spies, car chases, torture scenes, and suspense as we follow the protagonists. Lisbeth always seems to be immersed in intrigue, and nasty stuff. There's some computer wizardry in this one, but not as much as in the first film. She's forced on the run from the law because she's accused of three murders.
Lisbeth's cruel father whom she has torched as a child comes blazing back in this sequel.
It ends in a cliffhanger that will entice viewers into seeing the third film in the series this fall.
The film is excellent, chilling, and absorbing, but I liked the first one better because it was more focused and involved more interaction between the two principals; it was more human and more touching than this one.
Lisbeth is as tough and wily as ever. There is superb acting and cinematography. The movie is in Swedish with English sub-titles which means it won't be seen by a wide American audience although it deserves to be. I have an uneasy feeling that when the American versions are made, they won't be nearly as good as these fine films partly because these two stars are perfect for their parts. It's an intricately plotted, labyrinthine, tantalizing mystery. It can be a standalone thriller even if you haven't read the novel.
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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fight fire with fire, September 5, 2010
Whoever edited the Millennium Trilogy into film is a genius. Stieg Larsson was a good author and his novels are captivating, but he can detail an idea to death. Whereas the screen writer for the films has taken pages, even chapters of Larsson's minutia and delivered the meaning and impact of Stig's over description in a raised eyebrow, a word or a deceptively simple scene. The Girl Who Played With Fire is a bridge between Dragon Tattoo and Hornet's Nest, yet the screen writer has delivered a film that stands on its own. I've read the books and thoroughly enjoyed the films. My husband has not read the books and was impressed by the films. We have seen Dragon Tattoo three times and Fire twice at the theater and can't wait for Hornet's Nest to come out this fall. Although this is a non English film, I found the captioning to be very easy to follow and it did not detract from enjoying the movie. Watch Dragon Tattoo first, then enjoy Fire and the brilliant acting of Noomi Rapace, this woman is a stunner and is perfect in the role of Lisbet Salander. See it.
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film, May 2, 2010
This a good movie, which in combination with it predecessor (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) has made for an suspenseful, enticing and intriguing series of films. One caveat, the level of explicit violence in these films are not for the faint of heart. Grown-ups only.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The girl full of fire, July 12, 2010
The late Stieg Larsson centered his Millennium Trilogy around cruelty towards women -- and the movie adaptations don't hold back either.

The second movie of the trilogy, "The Girl Who Played With Fire," is a tightly wound thriller that is almost as good as the first. It lacks some of the raw, wild, dark energy, but it tangles together some razor-sharp social commentary (sex trafficking) with car chases and conspiracies. Best of all, it still has brilliant performances by Michael Nyqvist and Noome Rapace.

A year after "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," Millennium magazine has a new reporter -- Dag Svensson (Hans Christian Thulin) and his girlfriend are doing reports on sex trafficking and prostitution. But then Mikael (Nyqvist) finds both of them dead in their apartment, and Nils Bjurman (Peter Andersson) -- the cruel "guardian" who raped Lisbeth -- has been brutally shot in the head.

Since Lisbeth (Rapace) just returned to Stockholm (and threatened to shoot Bjurman), she becomes the No. 1 suspect in all three murders. Even though, y'know, she had no motive for two of them.

Of course, Mikael doesn't believe that she did it -- especially since a hostile blond giant is going around beating up anyone (a trainer, a casual girlfriend) who might know Lisbeth's whereabouts. As Lisbeth goes on her own dark mission, she tells Mikael that he should look for someone named "Zala." But when Mikael starts hunting for information on this mystery man, he also learns more about Lisbeth's dark past...

Lisbeth Salander was something of a mystery in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" -- we knew she was troubled, a brilliant hacker, and had been in a psych ward. But "The Girl Who Played With Fire" rips away all that mystery and shows us where Lisbeth Salander came from, and how she became a lonely, punky avenging angel. It's pretty nasty, and it ends on a cliffhanger (for crying out loud!).

The biggest problem with this story is that it lacks the raw, primal energy that made the first movie so vibrant. But it's still a tightly-wound thriller with plenty of unpolished fighting, bloody violence, and some moments of bleak humor (Lisbeth "renting" a car after shoving the clerk in a locker). The most disturbing parts are undeniably the flashbacks to Lisbeth's past, both with her family and in a psych ward (depicted in a surreal, blurry-white nightmare).

And it's all wound around more unpleasant aspects of modern Swedish society, centering on cruelty towards women -- sex trafficking in a modern country, and the evil "Zala's" ability to get away with anything he wanted.

And while Nyqvist does a good job here, the real spotlight here is on Noome Rapace. This woman is brilliant -- all lean wildcat energy, haunted eyes and half-hidden pain. While Lisbeth seems to have healed a little from her past experiences (she seems more open and friendly), there's still a river of darkness flowing just under the surface, and Rapace does a particularly good job when Lisbeth goes a-hunting for the bad guys.

"The Girl Who Played With Fire" doesn't have the spark of the first movie, but it still has an electric brilliance and scathing social exploration. Too bad we have to wait so long for the finale!
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, August 21, 2010
By 
Steven A. Peterson (Hershey, PA (Born in Kewanee, IL)) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Girl Who Played with Fire (DVD)
This is the second movie out of the Millennium Trilogy. Middle movies often have difficulties, since they end "in media res." That, of course, describes the second of the three works on Stieg Larsson's trilogy. However, this movie is still quite effective on its own merits.

For one thing, the character of Lisbeth Salander has been developed. And she is the focal point of this movie. Noomi Rapace continues her splendid acting in the role. She is not as tiny as the character described in the book (four feet eleven inches tall and about ninety pounds), but she seems to me to capture the character of Salander. She is coldly efficient when taking on people whom she deems "bad" or not leaving her in peace or men who hate women. That is exemplified here in her treatment of one of the "johns" who had been identified by a team--Dag and Mia (boyfriend-girlfriend)--who were in their separate ways examining sex trafficking in Sweden. And of her sanguinary meeting with the two bikers of Sweden's Hell's Angels "wannabes."

The story itself focuses on the murder of Dag and Mia--and of lawyer Bjurman, who was Salander's "guardian." She had been deemed incompetent many years before and was still caught in the system. When her former guardian, Palmgren, was felled by a stroke, Bjurman took over. He was hardly an impartial overseer. In the first movie, Salander had "neutralized" Bjurman. She had a powerful motive to kill him. Indeed, in the end, with her fingerprints on the gun that had killed all three people, she became wanted as the killer.

The book moves ahead from that premise. Her former lover and friend, Mickael Blomkvist, believes her to be innocent and sets out to try to find the real killer. They had not seen one another for a year and their communication is limited to e-mail and other indirect communication.

The movie speeds forward (it hardly seems to be over two hours long) to her inevitable confrontation with her father and a blonde giant who feels no pain (her taser has little effect on him). Her poignant e-mail message to Blomkvist as she headed off to face her father is powerful: "Thank you for being my friend." She "comes back" from the dead, having been severely wounded and left for dead. Her survival is somewhat improbable, but the touching meeting between her and Blomkvist at the end is powerful indeed. Palmgren is never identified as her former guardian (if you have read the books, you know who he is). This movie is closer to the book than the first, but that is not a matter of importance for either. They are both true to the spirit of the book and the key characters. A minor annoyance: At times the English subtitles are hard to read, as they are in light shading and when the screen is light, too, it's a bit tough to read--but, not a major issue.

The ending is powerful, leaving us to wonder what is to be the fate of Lisbeth and how the conspiracy to imprison her because of her father's value to the secret service of Sweden is to end. A worthy sequel to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved all three, January 29, 2011
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Great marketing ploy, like kill bill you have to buy next dvd to see what happens. I did not mind, the story was original and full of surprises. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, a must see. English dubbing was good did not distract me like old martial arts films.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Extended Version is Soooo Superior to the Formerly Released "Regular Edition"!, December 15, 2011
To the point, DO NOT MISS THIS "EXTENDED EDITION" if you are interested in the Swedish film/TV production of Steig Larson's novel of the same name (or either of the other two productions in the series). WHETHER OR NOT you have already seen the seriously truncated (shortened, mangled) version which was earlier released on DVD, BD, and streaming, THIS IS NOT TO BE MISSED. Unlike the previously released version, this "extended edition" provides a coherent presentation. Being one of the inexplicably over the top fans of anything connected with the three Larsen novels (or associated biographies, etc), I read all three novels early this year and then waited with bated breath for the "movie" versions. I was seriously disappointed with all three earlier, shortened movie releases, and particularly the last two of the three in the series. This was because new characters suddenly showed up on the screen without either sufficient introduction, or even identification. Or there were very significant holes in the story line (in addition to those already extant in the novels!).

As many of you will know, the three novels were filmed for Swedish television, with one film for each of the three novels. This disc presents one of the three films as originally formed and appearing on Swedish television - each film, including this one, was broken into two segments of approximately 90 minutes in length, for a movie lasting a total of 180 minutes. When the Swedish TV version was presented in American theaters (and DVDs and BDs, the latter which I own), it was re-edited, and seriously shortened. As far as I am concerned, this ruined all three original "movie" presentations.

Despite the fact that the productions were evidently produced for first showing on Swedish TV, the production values (both sight and sound) are certainly comparable to those of first rate American movies. This reviewer does not know but strongly suspects that the producers had ultimate theater showing in mind when the films were made.

And finally, the Amazon's streamed version of the Extended Edition is free of notable artifacts on this reviewer's 109 inch Stewart Screen - in the streamed version the color balance and brightness are good - the black levels, interfered with by encoding and transmission noise, do not equal that of the BluRay disc, but are certainly acceptable. Needless to say, I was grateful and quite thrilled that the original version finally made it to market in Amazon's streamed version with Amazon's typical quality!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rushed Adaptation of Larsson's Excellent Novel!, February 5, 2011
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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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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A girl full of fire, October 8, 2010
The late Stieg Larsson centered his Millennium Trilogy around cruelty towards women -- and the movie adaptations don't hold back either.

The second movie of the trilogy, "The Girl Who Played With Fire," is a tightly wound thriller that is almost as good as the first. It lacks some of the raw, wild, dark energy, but it tangles together some razor-sharp social commentary (sex trafficking) with car chases and conspiracies. Best of all, it still has brilliant performances by Michael Nyqvist and Noome Rapace.

A year after "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," Millennium magazine has a new reporter -- Dag Svensson (Hans Christian Thulin) and his girlfriend are doing reports on sex trafficking and prostitution. But then Mikael (Nyqvist) finds both of them dead in their apartment, and Nils Bjurman (Peter Andersson) -- the cruel "guardian" who raped Lisbeth -- has been brutally shot in the head.

Since Lisbeth (Rapace) just returned to Stockholm (and threatened to shoot Bjurman), she becomes the No. 1 suspect in all three murders. Even though, y'know, she had no motive for two of them.

Of course, Mikael doesn't believe that she did it -- especially since a hostile blond giant is going around beating up anyone (a trainer, a casual girlfriend) who might know Lisbeth's whereabouts. As Lisbeth goes on her own dark mission, she tells Mikael that he should look for someone named "Zala." But when Mikael starts hunting for information on this mystery man, he also learns more about Lisbeth's dark past...

Lisbeth Salander was something of a mystery in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" -- we knew she was troubled, a brilliant hacker, and had been in a psych ward. But "The Girl Who Played With Fire" rips away all that mystery and shows us where Lisbeth Salander came from, and how she became a lonely, punky avenging angel. It's pretty nasty, and it ends on a cliffhanger (for crying out loud!).

The biggest problem with this story is that it lacks the raw, primal energy that made the first movie so vibrant. But it's still a tightly-wound thriller with plenty of unpolished fighting, bloody violence, and some moments of bleak humor (Lisbeth "renting" a car after shoving the clerk in a locker). The most disturbing parts are undeniably the flashbacks to Lisbeth's past, both with her family and in a psych ward (depicted in a surreal, blurry-white nightmare).

And it's all wound around more unpleasant aspects of modern Swedish society, centering on cruelty towards women -- sex trafficking in a modern country, and the evil "Zala's" ability to get away with anything he wanted.

And while Nyqvist does a good job here, the real spotlight here is on Noome Rapace. This woman is brilliant -- all lean wildcat energy, haunted eyes and half-hidden pain. While Lisbeth seems to have healed a little from her past experiences (she seems more open and friendly), there's still a river of darkness flowing just under the surface, and Rapace does a particularly good job when Lisbeth goes a-hunting for the bad guys.

"The Girl Who Played With Fire" doesn't have the spark of the first movie, but it still has an electric brilliance and scathing social exploration. Too bad we have to wait so long for the finale!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never read the book ? NO PROBLEM, March 4, 2011
Until I read the other reviews,I did not even know this was based on a book. That said, if your like me, a Amazon Prime member you will see this title when searching for free films to watch. Number 2 in the Trilogy continues the story, where it left off in the first. You will enjoy it if you have watched the first one. Simple as that.
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The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Girl Who Played with Fire by Daniel Alfredson (DVD - 2010)
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