The Girl Who Played With Fire, the second movie installment of the ‘Millenium’ series by Stieg Larsson hits theaters today and I can barely wait to see it this evening. The Swedish film (soon to be copied by American filmmakers into what I’m sure will be a tepid, watered-down version) has been out for ages across the pond, but it’s taken us until now to get it.
The first adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, was gritty, dark, and powerful. From watching the preview of Played With Fire it looks as if audiences are in for another bumpy ride. Many critics however, haven’t liked this one as much as Dragon Tattoo and much of the blame seems to lie with the change in director. Tattoo was done by Niels Arden Oplev, an award winning director from Denmark while Fire is lead by Daniel Alfredson, a lesser known, but still accoladed Swedish director. The writers meanwhile, have also changed. Fire‘s screenplay was written by Jonas Frykberg and Tattoo was penned by the Scandanavian team of Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg. These names don’t mean much to me, heck I can barely pronounce half of them, but I’m curious to see if I agree with the critics. If so, the question that begs to be asked is, why change something that ain’t broke?
The Hollywood Reporter, the LA Times, and the Wall Street Journal on the other hand, all love the film and despite naysayers, compliment the ruthlessness and intelligence of the new director’s choices. The HR even writes, “Noir never has been this dark.” Hence, you’ll be hearing from me again on this issue after I see it for myself tonight. Remember though kids, this stuff isn’t for the weak of heart. If you can’t stomach the heavy stuff, I’d skip this series all together.