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Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Got Burned By The Girl who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played With Fire = 4 out of 5 Stars
Mikael Blomkvist: I will find out the truth. I will catch the real murderers. And I will write and article about it that will make the police very uncomfortable.
The girl with the dragon tattoo returns in this second film of a trilogy, involving the unlikely relationship between a goth, bisexual, computer-hacker and a minor celebrity publisher, as they are once again pulled into a murder mystery. I would say this is a minor step down from the previous, but only because some of the freshness of learning about the characters is gone. This is still a well made and taut thriller, featuring a wonderfully intriguing lead actress.

As computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Repace) returns to Sweden, after traveling abroad with a vast amount of money she has acquired, she soon becomes framed for a few homicides and is forced to deal with some demons from her past. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is involved, as he was helping in the investigation of a sex-trafficking ring, which was being mainly researched by a new recruit for his magazine. Lisbeth is accused murdering the reporters involved, along with her former parole officer, causing her to go on the run while Mikael works to clear her name.

Some were bothered by the length of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. This films is a bit shorter, ending at a little bit over two hours, but it is really all about its story this time around. Not necessarily a better or worse thing, but what that film had in establishing its lead characters, this film has in putting them, mainly Lisbeth, front and center into the mystery they are investigating. While Lisbeth had to work her way into the main part of the story involving Blomkvist last time, this time she is really the lead character all the way, but that doesn't mean the others involved do not get a chance to shine. I appreciated Blomkvist having a quiet cool about him, becoming somewhat famous for events occurring previously, he now has a confidence that I quite enjoyed seeing in his character. It was also nice to learn more about some different aspects from Lisbeth's life.

An interesting aspect was having the story keep the main characters apart for a good majority of the film. It can always be a risky move to do that, and while the relationship between Lisbeth and Blomkvist is nowhere near a standard, its certainly one in which you anticipate to see where it goes. Having them communicate, for the most part, in after the fact messages via technology was certainly a neat way to go, before finally having them meet up.

The mystery itself was solid enough. As I said, this is very much a film about Lisbeth, and the way her past gets wrapped up in some of the reasoning of what happens makes for an interesting feature, along with the elements regarding how this research started.

Despite switching up directors, this film is still very well made. A number of tense moments are well handled. The look of the film isn't too overly elaborate, but its done well enough to maintain a solid tone and feel like a fitting sequel. I did appreciate the pacing as well, which managed to keep everything moving for the most part.

This is very much a film universe I enjoy being in. I was wrapped up in the story, felt involved with all the different characters, and kept wanting to know more. While this film does end in a bit of a cliffhanger for the next, I am certainly anticipating the next installment.

"There are no innocents. There are, however, different degrees of responsibility."

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