Review: The Girl Who Played with Fire
4 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund
With the the books of Stieg Larsson's “Millenium Trilogy” flying off American shelves (they've officially unseated the “Twilight” tomes as the hottest must-reads of the moment), the buzz regarding the film adaptations has become all about the forthcoming American remakes, the first of which is set to be directed by David Fincher from an already-in-the-bag script by Steven Zaillian. I'm plenty interested to see what a visionary like Fincher will bring to these audacious mysteries, but it's disheartening how the original Swedish-language films are now being treated as mere stepping stones to the Hollywood versions. Americans don't know what they're missing.
The Swedish movies are brisk, intelligent, well-performed thrillers, and even if the remakes can capture all that, they won't be able to replicate the basic, indigenous nature of Scandinavian stories recreated as Scandinavian films. The second installment, “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” fully retains the tough-as-nails aura of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” which hit U.S. art houses in March. Following the ongoing, intrigue-ridden adventures of magazine editor Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) and mysterious, bisexual hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), “Fire” also reminds us that good stories begin with great characters.