The Girl Who Played With Fire & The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2010?)

March 3, 2011

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Paolo Roberto
Director: Daniel Alfredson (“John Adams” mini-series)
Quick Thoughts: These films are relatively solid adaptations of Stieg Larrson’s wildly popular Millennium trilogy of novels, with the second film being noticeably more faithful and entertaining than the first. The filmmakers definitely took more liberties in the first film: changing significant plot points and missing the mark on the Blomkvist character. Though the mystery aspect of the first book/movie keeps it moving at a fast pace, I think the second novel/film is the superior work. While the first film focuses on the secrets of the Vanger family, the second part dives into the history of Lisbeth Salander, clearly the most interesting character in the series. Our heroine is played expertly by Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, chain-smoking while contemplating her next move and displaying enough dark side to make us believe she’s capable of murder. Overall, these are enjoyable movies and Rapace is perfect for the role of Salander, but I can’t help but think that with David Fincher at the helm there’s a lot of room for improvement in the Hollywood versions.
Viewings: 1
Replay Value: Probably worth a couple viewings.
Sequel Potential: A third Swedish movie is out and the American versions are on the way.
Oscar Potential: Rapace was good enough that she had some outside buzz for Best Actress in 2010.
Nudity: Rapace is constantly naked. Rooney Mara, will you be true to the character and follow in her footsteps?
Grade: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: 6/10 (Recommended); The Girl Who Played With Fire: 7/10 (Must See)
Recommendation: Fans of the novels shouldn’t be too upset, but expect some disappointment in the first movie, especially if you’ve recently read the books. These are Swedish films and I’d recommend watching them in their original language with English subtitles, but if you don’t do foreign films you might as well wait for the American versions that start coming out in late 2012.

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