Mark Metcalf
Moving Pictures

The Girl Who Played With Fire

By - Jul 17th, 2010 04:00 am
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Courtesy Zodiak Entertainment

There is a lot that is familiar in The Girl Who Played With Fire, even if you haven’t read the book. Or books, I should say since this is the second in a trilogy of books by Swedish author Stieg Larsson that has also been made into a film.

And apparently the Hollywood imagination machine, for reasons fathomable only to their tiny minds, will be re-making this one as well as the first, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

There is a crime. There is a cover up. They involve men of money, power and influence and sexual violence toward women. There are honest, yet flawed journalists with no power, only determination, brains, computers and cell phones who are dedicated to bringing the story to light. In many ways it is a police procedural.

In many ways it is a story of the weak against the strong. There is even a crippled, scarred, and emotionally corrupt bad guy and his hulking, nearly indestructible henchman that seem to have stepped out of a James Bond film.

But right in the middle of it all is a girl like none you have ever seen before. Her name is Lisbeth Salander and she is played by Noomi Rapace.  She’s tiny, sexually voracious, can take a punch and give it back, twice.  She’s a superb hacker, a great shot and a good friend… if you don’t mind that she disappears for a year-and-a-half every so often. And everybody wants to either kill her, save her, or rape her. She is a great character on the page and she takes this film, which might have been completely ordinary, and puts it into the dimension of must-see.

She is so surprising, so tough and yet still so vulnerable and available that I am having trouble figuring out what I am going to do between now and the release of the next and last in movie in the series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. I guess I could read the books.

The Girl Who Played With Fire is currently playing at the Downer Theatre.

Categories: Movies

0 thoughts on “Moving Pictures: The Girl Who Played With Fire”

  1. Anonymous says:

    “And apparently the Hollywood imagination machine, for reasons fathomable only to their tiny minds, will be re-making this one as well as the first, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

    You are way over-rating these movies Mark, but I am more disturbed by the fact that you are dissing the remake potential. It is not like the films are an original script and idea, it is a novel that has been turned into a movie as fast as possible to profit. Noomi Rapace is a great Salandar, but not really a great actress. I can’t wait to see what someone like Carrie Mulligan or Natalie Portman would do with her, also the one and only David Fincher is on board to director the first in the series, outside of Chris Nolan or Paul Anderson, he is probably the most interesting director in Hollywood.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The books are ‘good reads’ because they read like comic books, quick, easy, and undemanding. The films with Rapace are at least about the bones of the story, simple, straight forward, with little of the gloss. I sink deeper into my seat with dread in anticipation of the fatuous, bloated intellectualism that either Fincher, Nolan or P.T. Anderson will attach to it.

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