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Girl Who Played with Fire, The


Stars: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Lena Endre, Georgi Staykov, Micke Spreitz, Yasmine Garbi, Peter Andersson, Sofia Ledarp

Director: Daniel Alfredson

This follow-on to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo re-introduces us to chain-smoking, butt-kicking, six-stone bisexual computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rapace). This time, though, the plot, involving the exploitation of prostitutes, is neither as strong nor as intricate as the first one and, despite good action scenes, first-rate camerawork and another intense performance by Rapace, nothing much to get steamed up about.

Lisbeth returns to Sweden and quickly becomes the prime suspect in the double murder of two researchers working with 'Millennium' journalist Micke Blomqvist (again the sad-eyed Nykvist) on a story involving big shots violently involved with said hookers.

And Lisbeth's sweaty former tormentor Bjurman (Andersson) is in the plot too, wanting back the DVD of his sexual torture of her (as you would).

There's a big blond villain (Spreitz) as well, straight out of James Bond - he suffers from 'congenital analgesia' so can't feel pain - though it isn't clear what happens to him at the end, and we can only assume he'll pop up again in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest later this year.

Rapace and Nykvist don't share a scene together until the very end, something that works to the film's disadvantage (and undercuts the suspense a little), as their chemistry was a major part of the first movie's success. It's all very well directed by Alfredson and has a cameo by Swedish acting legend Per Oscarsson; just don't expect another Dragon Tattoo.

David Quinlan

Sweden/Norway/ Germany/Denmark 2009. UK Distributor: Momentum. Colour by Denmark Film Lab.
129 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 23 Aug 2010