The Girl Who Played With Fire

I read the book awhile back. In it, a character named Paulo Roberto, who is an ex-boxer, fights with a blond giant who can’t feel pain. He almost wins. He certainly saves another minor character from a gruesome death. It’s one of the true highlights of the book.

And one of the highlights of watching this movie is seeing the name “Paulo Roberto” in the credits, and realizing that he is a real person who plays himself, in a fictional role. Much like Dan Marino in Ace Ventura, but with substantially better acting. And his fight with the stoic Ronald Niedermann is probably the best action scene in a movie that could use a few more of them.

This movie takes a turn away from the self-contained serial killer story of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, and follows the adventures of societal mis-fit Elizabeth Salander, who is apparently connected on several levels to the darkest secrets of the Swedish government. Unfortunately, all three stories in the “Millenium Trilogy” have a bad habit of pretending to be about Salander, when they’re really more focused on journalist Mikael Blomkvist, and whatever vast conspiracy he’s threatening to unearth this week. Don’t get me wrong, Blomkvist makes for a great protagonist (and is expertly acted by Michael Nyqvist), but Salander often gets relegated to the sidelines (she spends most of the movie hiding out as a murder suspect).

The movie tends to be more straightforward than the book. If you’re a purist, you probably won’t like that. Subplots are excised, and so are main plots. The central murders of the story are because of an illegal sex trade, but this is barely mentioned again, once we find out Salander’s prints are on the gun.

The movie ends with a quasi-cliffhanger, as Salander tracks down her long-lost father, who is more or less not happy to be found. If you want all your loose ends neat and tidy, you’ll have to watch part three (THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST).

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