The girl with the dragon tattoo returns. 

film2.jpg

The first film versions of late Swedish author Stieg Larsson's audaciously successful "Millennium" mystery/thriller series  — The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, released in the U.S. earlier this year, and The Girl Who Played With Fire, opening in Memphis this week — are essentially garish pulp thrillers that aspire to something more serious, in the vein of The Silence of the Lambs.

But unlike Lambs author Thomas Harris' series of page-to-screen hits, which foisted serial-killer chic and Hannibal Lecter on us, Larsson's work introduces a new pop-culture figure more worthy of icon status.

As portrayed by Noomi Rapace in both films (as well as in the forthcoming The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest), Larsson protagonist Lisbeth Salander is a memorable, charismatic figure. The wiry, petite heroine is an androgynous figure who looks something like a blend of Joan of Arc, young Jackie Earle Hailey, and Run, Lola, Run.

After establishing Salander in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, she becomes a Jason Bourne-like figure in The Girl Who Played With Fire — on the lam, pursued, hiding in plain sight, forced to fight back.

The Girl Who Played With Fire burrows into the tormented Salander back-story only hinted at in the first film, spinning off the plot-starting murder of a pair of journalists set to uncover government complicity in a sex-trafficking operation, with Salander's fingerprints found on the murder weapon.

The real theme of both films is misogynistic violence, with Fire slightly less graphic in its depiction of these crimes than Dragon Tattoo. Salander is an avenging angel taking on bad men. Appropriately, her weapons of choice are a can of mace, a taser, a big chip on her shoulder, and a bigger brain.

Larsson's novels must be densely plotted, because even with their two-plus-hour run times, these films feel a little shoddy as procedurals. You can sense the characters and connections left out, and the films' directors (Niels Arden Oplev in the first film, Daniel Alfredson here) don't help with their struggle to make the paper trail compelling.

The Girl Who Played With Fire is perhaps a little less satisfying as a mystery/thriller than the first in strictly genre terms, but it is ultimately more compelling in its increased focus on Lisbeth and its welcome move from a wintry family estate to an in-and-around Stockholm setting of which the film makes good use.

The Girl Who Played With Fire

Opening Friday, August 13th

Multiple locations

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Tags:

The Girl Who Played With Fire (Flickan som lekte med elden)
Rated NR · 129 min. · 2010
Director: Daniel Alfredson
Writer: Jonas Frykberg and Stieg Larsson
Producer: Lone Korslund and Peter Nadermann
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Lena Endre, Georgi Staykov and Sofia Ledarp
The Girl Who Played With Fire (Flickan som lekte med elden)
Rated R · 129 min. · 2010
Director: Daniel Alfredson
Writer: Jonas Frykberg and Stieg Larsson
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Lena Endre, Georgi Staykov, Sofia Ledarp, Micke Spreitz, Per Oscarsson, Paolo Roberto, Alexandra Eisenstein and Annika Hallin

Now Playing

The Girl Who Played With Fire (Flickan som lekte med elden) is not showing in any theaters in the area.

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • First Man

      Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong in this flawed biopic
    • Hell Fest

      Music festivals and slasher flicks should both be more fun than this
    • The Sore Losers

      Mike McCarthy’s dangerous vision of garage rock decadence, returns for a Gonerfest encore

Blogs

Tiger Blue

Missouri 65, Tigers 33

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies Maul Hawks 131 - 117

News Blog

City Orders Lime Scooters Off the Streets

We Saw You

Science of Wine and more!

News Blog

Election Administrator Addresses Ballot Issues

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Shocktober V Gets Scary At The Time Warp Drive-In

Fly On The Wall Blog

Great Works of Literature as Written by the Shelby Co. Election Commission

News Blog

'Misleading' Ballot Questions Draw Ire from Voters

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Herrington

  • Last Words

    In "Enough Said," James Gandolfini makes his last lead film role his best.
    • Sep 26, 2013
  • Masters of Sound

    New albums from two of Memphis’ most distinctive stylists.
    • Sep 19, 2013
  • Hayes Carll at the Hi-Tone

    • Sep 19, 2013
  • More »

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation