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
Official Website: http://www.encorefilms.com/dragontattoo/
Opening Day: 16 September 2010
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
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
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
(The Girl Who Played With Fire simply leaves you cold)
Review by Adrian Sim