Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles About Us Soundtrack eStore


In Swedish with English & Chinese Subtitles
Director: Daniel Alfredson
Cast: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Peter Andersson, Annika Hallin, Per Oscarsson, Yasmine Garbi, Johan Kylén, Tanja Lorentzon, Paolo Roberto
RunTime: 2 hrs 9 mins
Released By: Encore Films & GV
Rating: M18
Official Website: http://www.encorefilms.com/dragontattoo/

Opening Day: 16 September 2010


Lisbeth Salander is a wanted woman. Two Millennium journalists about to expose the truth about the sex trade in Sweden are brutally murdered, and Salander's prints are on the weapon. Her history of unpredictable and vengeful behaviour makes her an official danger to society - but no-one can find her anywhere.

Meanwhile, Mikael Blomkvist, editor-in-chief of Millennium, will not believe what he hears on the news. Knowing Salander to be fierce when fearful, he is desperate to get to her before she is cornered and alone. As he fits the pieces of the puzzle together, he comes up against some hardened criminals, including the chainsaw-wielding 'blond giant' - a fearsomely huge thug who can feel no pain.

Digging deeper, Blomkvist also unearths some heart-wrenching facts about Salander's past life. Committed to psychiatric care aged 12, declared legally incompetent at 18, this is a messed-up young woman who is the product of an unjust and corrupt system. Yet Lisbeth is more avenging angel than helpless victim - descending on those that have hurt her with a righteous anger terrifying in its intensity and truly wonderful in its outcome.

Movie Review:

Don't play with fire.

And by that I mean do not waste your time on this preposterous and erratically-paced movie, even if you've been floored by Stieg Larsson's The Millennium Trilogy and Niels Arden Oplev's movie adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. That's two hours better spent elsewhere.

Not having read any of Larsson's books, I was reasonably compelled to catch Fire because of Oplev's vastly entertaining original. Yet, behind the back of my head, the cynical critic in me doesn't believe Fire will live up to that one's lofty standards. And true enough, he was proven right.

For those who've not read any of the Larsson's books or never caught the original movie, diving head-on into Fire will render you confused and frustrated (as evinced by my partner's fidgety behaviour). Fire assumes you've been keeping up with The Millennium Trilogy and doesn't let up to nanny you with backstories. So if you absolutely have to slog through this yawn fest with your adamant movie partner, please go armed with some knowledge. Or even better, find some excuse not to go.

Oozing none of the class and psychological underpinnings of the original movie, Fire squanders a gargantuan of screentime on a convoluted (and sometimes incomprehensible) setup, then a tacky action-loaded mid-section and finally an absurd denouement that probably didn't seem so ridiculous in Larsson's novel.

Running slightly more than two hours, the movie is workmanlike and struggles to find a consistent tone, never finding a firm footing. It is a haphazard mishmash that flits clumsily from a social critique of the mysogynistic Swedish political system to a cheesy B-grade action thriller to a softcore lesbian drama to a gory barnhouse horror (which could be an intentional homage to Sam Raimi's Evil Dead). It is as disturbed, frenetic and unpredictable as Lisbeth Salander, the titular heroine who is really a chameleon in disguise. Which is not a good thing.

Comparing Fire to Oplev's Tattoo is like comparing apples to oranges. While the latter was minimalist in its psychological subtexts, the former is full-blown kitchen-sink melodrama that reeks of the likes of B-grade films. A sequence involving a kickboxer's (played stiffly by a Dolph Lundgren lookalike whose chops are definitely not in acting) attempts at spying and rescuing a damsel was laughably cheesy and could have been ripped off from any direct-to-video actioner.

The original, which had Fire's thematic elements, was more restraint and ably helmed by award-winning director, Oplev. Even though it unfurled at a glacial pace, the contemplative tone (anchored by pristine cinematography) exuded more class and affords the audience the time to take in the avalanche of information and twists. Even if they were shocking, the moments of sexual violence were shot tastefully and didn't show more than what were required. In Fire, themes of involuntary subjugation have a sleazy aftertaste, and the violence exploitative. And this has the overall effect of undoing the operatic finesse that Oplev has built up in the original.

Here's hoping David Fincher does one helluva job with the American adaptation.

Movie Rating:

(The Girl Who Played With Fire simply leaves you cold)

Review by Adrian Sim


. The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo (2009)

. Angels & Demons (2009)

. State Of Play (2009)

. The Da Vinci Code (2006)

DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.