November 18, 2010

Justify My Netflix: The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009)

(Like many Netflix customers, I too can get quite lax with the timely watching and returning of my movies, which of course defeats the entire purpose of having a flat-rate rental plan in the first place. To combat that, I am now writing standardized mini-reviews of each and every movie I end up watching through Netflix, both instantly and on DVD. Don't forget, all previous 'Justify My Netflix' reviews can be found on CCLaP's main movie page.)

The Girl Who Played with Fire

Today's movie: The Girl Who Played with Fire, 2009 (Amazon | IMDB | Netflix | Wikipedia)

Why I added it to my queue: Because I was a big fan of the first film in this series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, made by the same Swedish production company responsible for this sequel; and since I have no plans to read the second and third volumes of Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" trilogy that these films are based on, I thought this would be an easy way to at least stay caught up on the storyline.

The reality: Disappointing, to tell you the truth. Although to be fair, that has nothing to do with the production company itself, but rather the weakness of the story it's based on; because after the inventive "mystery within a mystery" structure and complicated morality of the original Dragon Tattoo (the main reason it became such an unexpectedly huge hit in the first place), it was a letdown to see that the sequel is a much more by-the-numbers crime thriller, featuring a main message so obvious and preachy as to give afterschool specials a run for their money. ("Sex slavery is bad! SEX SLAVERY IS BAD!!!") Although just as visually gorgeous as its predecessor, The Girl Who Played with Fire conceptually leaves a lot to be desired, and it has thrown into doubt now the question of whether I'm even going to bother with the third film of the series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

Strangest piece of trivia: The name on Lisbeth Salander's apartment door, V. Kulla, is a reference to Astrid Lindgren's character Pippi Longstocking and her house Villa Villekulla. (Before his death, Larsson admitted in interviews that he had always pictured Salandar as what Longstocking would've been like as an adult.)

Worth your time? Not really

Filed by Jason Pettus at 9:47 AM, November 18, 2010. Filed under: Movies | Reviews |