blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009, Daniel Alfredson), the extended edition

Noomi Rapace stars in THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, directed by Daniel Alfredson for Nordisk Film.

Calling The Girl Who Played with Fire pointless is an insult to all the other pointless sequels out there. Fire–and I’m sure it’s a faithful adaptation of the source novel, which is undoubtedly pointless as well–is the worst kind of sequel. It has no new story, so it just goes back and forces one out of the first film.

Oh, there’s the hint of a new story–something about human trafficking–but it’s all a MacGuffin to reveal Noomi Rapace’s protagonist is a mix of Riggs from Lethal Weapon and Luke Skywalker. Her character’s incredible change from the first film can likely be attributed to the bad fake tan Rapace wears at the beginning. It changed her brain chemistry.

Screenwriter Jonas Frykberg’s attempts to seriously discuss misogyny, while occasionally effective in the beginning, are tiresome by the end. He doesn’t believe in subtlety. Or in the need to plot well.

Since they’re adapting a popular novel, the filmmakers fill the runtime with useless scenes. Instead of fixing a badly plotted story, they stay faithful.

Rapace is okay, but can’t overcome the inane writing. Her erstwhile co-star Michael Nyqvist sort of wanders through the picture. The plot does him no favors.

As far as the supporting cast, there are only a couple standouts. Yasmine Garbi, Tanja Lorentzon and Per Oscarsson are good. Georgi Staykov is awful as Darth Vader.

Alfredson’s direction is dispassionate, but competent.

Fire might amuse as an example of contrived, predictable plotting… but little else.



Directed by Daniel Alfredson; screenplay by Jonas Frykberg, based on the novel by Stieg Larsson; director of photography, Peter Mokrosinski; edited by Mattias Morheden; music by Jacob Groth; produced by Søren Stærmose; released by Nordisk Film.

Starring Michael Nyqvist (Mikael Blomkvist), Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth Salander), Lena Endre (Erika Berger), Peter Andersson (Nils Bjurman), Michalis Koutsogiannakis (Dragan Armanskij), Annika Hallin (Annika Giannini), Sofia Ledarp (Malin Erikson), Jacob Ericksson (Christer Malm), Reuben Sallmander (Enrico Giannini), Yasmine Garbi (Miriam Wu), Ralph Carlsson (Gunnar Björk), Georgi Staykov (Alexander Zalachenko), Hans Christian Thulin (Dag Svensson), Jennie Silfverhjelm (Mia Bergman), Per Oscarsson (Holger Palmgren), Sunil Munshi (Dr. Sivarnandan), Anders Ahlbom (Peter Teleborian) and Micke Spreitz (Ronald Niedermann).


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