Tuesday, 31 August 2010

REVIEW: The Girl Who Played With Fire

What did you say about Rooney Mara?

Something is going over my head. Granted many things go over my head, such as tenants of neo-conservatism, the appeal of Dubstep music or why I get so much shit of everybody on my film course for giving The Imaginarium Of Dr Parnassus seven out of ten. I gave District 9 the same grade and isn't that so much more fundamentally objectionable? That was one of the best films of last year. But no. I have to endlessly defend a film I thought was kind of OK and can't really remember anymore. Dickwads. Anyways, what's going over my head this time is the supposed quality of this particular franchise. I just don't get it. The movies I'm seeing are dime a dozen mystery thrillers, with a couple of good performances. I guess there in Swedish, but that can only account for so much quality.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo I found to be an entertaining thriller with a couple of legitimately strong moments, but for the most part there's just a familiar vibe to it all. I thought its central mystery was weak, it dragged something horrible in places, it was shot quite dully and tonally awkward ultra-violence aside, didn't have any kind of revitalizing qualities a mystery thriller needs to set itself from the pack. The character of Lisbeth maybe? I guess, she's the franchises calling card, but I'd call her more kind of interesting then dazzlingly fascinating and overall I just felt overwhelmed. The sequel, leaves me with no different feeling. It starts of kind of the same, a semi-intriguing mystery set-up and our leads share no screen-time as they independently investigate. I was all set to give it another 6/10 until everything fell to shit in the second half, the plot uncomfortably merged with a Lisbeth origin story and everything fell from its hummingly average perch. It was lazy writing, leaning on unseen family bonds and lame, one-note, contrived villainy to generate its final act intensity, and it just didn't work from me. The whole thing felt very George Lucas, and I mean that in the most derogatory sense.

Again, Noomi Rapace gives an interesting performance as Lisbeth, its pleasingly subtle and internal and even with inferior material to work with there are moments to peak your interest. Michael Nyqvist doesn't have the most original or interesting character to work with, but he's a stabling presence I suppose, although he had more to do in the first one. None of the new characters here make an impact, nor does the film have any interest in them. It commits again to its narrative, which objectively is probably the weakest thing it has going for it, especially this time around.

Rating: 5/10

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