Thursday, August 05, 2010


THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, the sequel to the Swedish film THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is a vastly inferior film to the original. Stuck in the middle of a trilogy, it has all the problems of a sequel plus the problems of the prequel to the finale.

Although there are some nice plot ideas, there is almost no character or character development in the film. It's hard to talk about any of this without giving away surprises (that aren't very surprising) but suffice it to say that none of the character relationships are fleshed out, and in fact some of them make no sense.

There is an unfortunate influence of American films, in terms of both the generic score and the absurd obligatory car chase in the middle of the film (with only ancillary characters included). I'm sure some of this comes from the book. Another problem is that the two major characters are never in the same scene until the end of the film. In the first film, they rewrote the book to give them reasons to be together. In this one, there are large leaps in plot that make no sense.

The first half hour of the film has no structure and is needlessly repetitive of the first film. The last half hour is cliched, predictable and anti-climactic, while still feeling like there is no ending. There are clearly deliberate loose ends to give them something to do in the final film.

I haven't read the books, but I've been told that book two was by far the worst and book three by far the best, so it's probably worth seeing for the finale. But not worth seeing on the big screen.
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