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This is the second film adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, about a brazen investigative journalist uncovering corruption and the biggest little badass that’s appeared on screen since Short Round. Whereas the first book and film focused more on the trials of magazine reporter Mikael Blomkvist, The Girl Who Played With Fire is all about the much more intriguing Lizbeth Salander.

We get a brief recap of her exploits in the first film in a very rape-y dream montage. We then find out that her rapist guardian, who she has video evidence against, is looking to eliminate her and get an ugly Swedish tattoo she gave him removed. So she gets framed for 3 murders, one of which is the guardian (he’s totally committed to wrecking her day).

Meanwhile, Blomkvist is on the hunt of some terrible sex slave sons of bitches. That story leads him right on to the trail of the murders. While the police and press have already tried and convicted Lizbeth in the court of public opinion, he knows she didn’t do it.

Trying to put the pieces together, she goes rogue and pops in on some rapist pig in badass war paint ready to kick ass and take names. But the guy’s daughter walks in and she bugs out of there.

War Paint

(So damn badass.)

Blomkvist then gets some boxer guy to help find Lizbeth. He follows her lover / roommate who gets kidnapped by a terrifyingly huge blonde German dude (Imagine Ivan Drago & the big Nazi airplane mechanic from Raiders of the Lost Arc had a kid that grew up to be a Terminator). As if his massive size wasn’t frighting enough for you, he also has some weird genetic disorder that makes him unable to feel any pain whatsoever.

Blondie

(Just don’t mess with this guy. I’m not sure if he’s technically human.)

The boxer follows him into the country, by way of a safe Swedish car chase and tries to save the day, but gets the pulp beat out of him by Blondie. Then he locks the boxer and the roommate in a barn and sets it on fire. They somehow manage to escape though.

Lizbeth goes to some guy’s house and digs up some info. We learn that the guy behind the sex slaves and her frame up is some gangster named Zala, a former Russian spy or something. Blondie sends two coked up biker dudes to burn down that guy’s house, but he didn’t factor in Lizbeth being there. She pepper sprays one and shoots him in the foot, then tazers the other guy in the balls. Meanwhile, Blondie is sitting waiting for them and finds out though Swedish news that his boys got F-ed up by the hacker girl.

badass

(Lizbeth Salander, Pimp Muthafucka.)

Then, it is revealed that Zala is Lizbeth’s dad. (NOOOOOOO! THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE! But seriously, she knew that already) But what she didn’t know is that Blondie is her half-brother. (A storyline like this would have made the Star Wars prequels a billion times better) Blondie tries to grab her and she tazes him in the balls, which doesn’t even make him twitch. He takes her back to Zala’s lair where they sit and have a chat. They had a lot of catching up to do, since the last time they saw one another she dumped gasoline on his face and set him on fire. But he’s not bitter about that anymore, her eminent death is just business (yeah, right).

They’re about to execute her when she reaches down and throws dirt in blondie’s eyes and whacks him with a shovel. Zala shoots her in the back as she scampers off and they bury her. Of course, she ain’t dead – she rises from the grave like a badass zombie.

Then Pops hears a ruckus in the barn and he limps over to investigate. Lizbeth splits his skull with an axe then sticks it in his leg. She takes pot shots at big brother, but can’t hit her target (cause, she’s all nearly dead and stuff).

Finally, Blomkvist rolls up on the scene, looking weirdly emotionless like a goofy video game character. They medivac her out of there and the bad guys probably serve a dime at a cushy Swedish criminal rehabilitation facility.

It didn’t have all the mystery and intrigue that Dragon Tattoo had, but I really enjoyed Noomi Rapace’s Lizbeth Salander in this one. She got out from behind the laptop for a while and kicked some major ass. Blomkvist’s side of the plot was burdened with most of the boring parts of the story this time. He’s already kind of a goofy character to begin with and it didn’t give him much to do. Hell, he shows up so late at the end it seemed pointless for him to even come in at all.

end

(Oh, you’re still alive? Das goot.)

So, if you can bear reading subtitles (not many average American movie watchers can) this movie isn’t that bad. It’s certainly not the prettiest movie you’ll see, nor is it edited that brilliantly, but the acting is pretty good all around. You definitely should watch the first movie before you watch this (I haven’t seen the Fincher one yet, but I can imagine it probably looks amazing).

1 out of 3 Cinnamon Bears. Mostly good, some goofy moments. Had to stop and rewind to catch some subtitles. If they would all speak like the Swedish Chef, us Americans could understand them better. Ah, Bjork, Bjork, Bjork!

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