THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE Review

Neither as grand in scale or story as its predecessor, 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' is more of a crime and cop drama than the grand murder mystery we were presented with in part one. This sequel takes its cues from the subplot of the first film-dealing with a ring of prostitution and murder. I found it odd that the film never really brought Lisbeth and Mikael together until the conclusion of this one, but I also don't know where 'Hornet's Nest' picks up or what its storyline consists of. With the first film though, the pairing of them was one of the highlights of the film, the team they made in solving the murders would have been just as affective in this second installment had they at least corresponded more often. To put it simply, though alot seems to be going on in the film, not much really happens. Histories are revealed about some minor characters we were introduced to in the first part and this opens up new mysteries involving Lisbeths past and her reasons or causes for being the kind of person she is today. One thing the film does do nicely is pacing. Whereas 'Dragon Tattoo' always felt it dragged a bit near the end, this one flies by with constant action and suspense. It may be more run of the mill than its predecessor but it lacks no sense of adventure. The mystery aspect is what slightly disappointed me the most, not having read any of the Larsson novels on which these films are based, I am still unsure as to the entire mood or environment he was capturing and so I guess I am saying that I don't know what kind of state of mind I am supposed to be in when watching these movies, I have no pre-assumptions about these films, I go in blindly and so I am unsure that my reactions are the same as those who have more context of the world. This shouldn't matter though as the films should accomplish the task of letting me into this world as I watch the movie and I felt the first one did, I became completely involved and caught up in the story, but with this middle part I found it to be more of a passive experience. I enjoyed it, found it intriguing and was of course happy to see Noomi Rapace kick some serious butt as Lisbeth, but it just didn't have that spark. This is true with most second parts of a series though, there is always that lagging middle section that can neither be our introduction to a new world or the grand finale, it is simply the connector piece and few have been able to make one that doesn't suffer from these kind of restraints. 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' offers a lot of insight on our main heroine, but besides this no doubt vital development we are left mostly to admire the Swedish scenery and anticipate the final chapter in the series. Here's to hoping it returns to the realm of something I don't expect to see and that Lisbeth goes out the way she should. With Ms. Rapace in the role there is no doubt she will.