Director: Daniel Alfredson
Stars: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist and Lena Endre
Rated: Rated R for brutal violence including a rape, some strong sexual content, nudity and language.
Run Time: 129 minutes
Production Company: Nordisk Film
The Girl Who Played With Fire is the second of the films based on deceased author Stieg Larsson’s The Millennium Trilogy books. In the sequel, while ex-lover, and loyal friend journalist Mikael Blomkvist aids a young male reporter and his fiance in a major investigation of the origins of a high end Swedish sex-trafficking ring; Blomkvist’s friend and ex-lover, hacker Lisbeth Salander is falsely accused of three murders.
Not quite as exciting, complex or intriguing as the first film, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is still full of plenty of action and suspense as the storyline humanizes Lisbeth by sharing her family and romantic background. As a character Lisbeth has set aside much of her intense goth versus punk rock wardrobe in favor of severe straight black hair and a nose ring and a black leather jacket.
Lisbeth comes from a broken family, which is established in the in the first film and the second film allows for more clarity and understanding about Lisbeth’s violent past with her abusive father. As well we are exposed to Lisbeth’s talents as a hacker and reunited with a lost female love.
In addition to action there is another non-stop “A” word that accompanies the motorcycle chases, fights and fires and that word is “ABUSE”. In the first film we saw (and felt) abuse, everyone was abused in one way or another, but in the sequel we explore abuse and the origins of Lisbeth’s sorted if not demented past and then we experience more abuse. We are repeatedly reminded of the negative depths that one human being can force upon another and at times it is maddening.
Engaging and shocking, the action stops only for a storyline which sets you up for more action and suspense. As an actor Noomi Repace gives Lisbeth a power, beauty, strength and grace that only true talent can convey. Lisbeth is immune to the scenario’s often offered life’s sometimes treacherous path. No rape, beating, or act of corruption will sway Lisbeth from emerging as the ultimate captain of her fate. And though the character has a wall and shield up around her, Lisbeth captures your heart with her determination to survive on her own terms.
Note: I rented this film from a local Redbox and was delighted that the rental copy gave you the option of watching the film with subtitles, or with the actors voices dubbed into English. I selected the latter and it sounded great, though I initially feared it might be distracting.