Parisian murder detective commissioner Pierre Niemans is called to Gueron, a self-sufficient, prestigious university in a mountain valley, to investigate the murder on 32-year old professor... See full summary »
A congressman's daughter under Secret Service protection is kidnapped from a private school by an insider who calls Det. Alex Cross, sucking him into the case even though he's recovering from the loss of his partner.
Mikael Blomkvist, publisher of Millennium magazine, has made his living exposing the crooked and corrupt practices of establishment Swedish figures. So when a young journalist approaches him with a meticulously researched thesis about sex trafficking in Sweden and those in high office who abuse underage girls, Blomkvist immediately throws himself into the investigation. Written by
In the early scene where the editors are meeting in the Millennium office, there's a pile of magazines. Prominently displayed is a copy of EXPO, the anti-fascist magazine Stieg Larsson helped found in 1995. See more »
Blomkvist is shown driving a Toyota Prius. When he starts the car, there's a standard big-car start-up roar, but a Prius starts silently. See more »
Second installment of the Swedish Millennium trilogy about heroine Lisbeth Salander made me relish the first film by director Niels Arden Oplev
This follow-up installment by director Daniel Alfredson is a decent mystery thriller with expected action scenes and a string of plot points to keep your interest going. It provides more background information about our tenacious heroine Lisbeth's childhood and her legal guardians, mysterious police reports, and her couple of singularly close friends (Miriam and Paolo, both happened to also know kick-boxing and boxing). Of course, there is Millennium key journalist, Micke Blomkvist and his fellow investigative reporters, and most of the storyline we're following thread after thread, hoping (as everyone in the movie does) to get closer to Lisbeth. From the audience point of view, we get to see her, alright, tagging along with her varying guises to avert danger too close for comfort. She, too, wanted to get to the bottom of the alleged murders that were conveniently linked to her name. The whole movie feels like an expanded "Wallender" episode from the Swedish police-detective TV mystery series.*
"The Girl Who Played With Fire" gave us seemingly straightforward 'facts' as the multiple characters uncover - likened to a 'treasure hunt' (or musical chairs, if you so inclined from the number game of the targets by the villains) vs. providing dramatic highs and penetrating clues, suspenseful and emotional exciting turns as in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," when we followed Lisbeth and Micke on their investigative furtive trails and cerebral deductions. What Danish director Niels Arden Oplev gave us in the first installment can very well stand on its own as a suspense dramatic thriller (which was true to the original Swedish title "Men Who Hate Women"). It's an excellent whodunit - quality entertainment, moving and satisfying wrap-up to the point of tear-jerker, in spite of some plot-required gritty (raw, not for the squeamish) scenes, which were actual arcs for the next two installments to lean on and refer to. Yes, I recall those particular cited scenes in "The Girl Who Played With Fire" when replayed and enhanced our empathy with Lisbeth's character. What this second installment did give us is preparing for the next and final movie in pursuit of Lisbeth's truth along with Micke staunchly standing up for her - so I kinda read the reviews already on IMDb for "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest". Truly anticipate for the wide release of the 'Part 2' of the second installment and getting to the nitty-gritty rhyme and reason of our heroine Lisbeth and hope for the very best for her.
Do see "The Girl With Dragon Tattoo" if you haven't experience it yet. Yes, mind you, there are NFE (not for everyone) scenes, but they are necessary to the understanding of the heroine, Lisbeth Salander, and set up for the next two movies that follow in this worthwhile mystery trilogy from Sweden. Subtitles in English.
* "Wallender" is a popular Swedish detective mystery TV series I was lucky to catch now and then on KCSM (in Bay Area, California) on their 'International Mystery Monday nights' at 10 PM. They are usually intense, violent crime scenes without apology, political story lines, tons of threads (or red-herrings) that compel you to stay through till the end of the 90-minute episode. There's also a British "Wallender" mystery series based on the same Swedish police-detective Kurt Wallender, played by Kenneth Branagh (who's an executive producer for the program).
If you have a chance to catch the German-Austrian production of "Tatort: Crime Scene" - that's a favorite international mystery I highly recommend. Every TV episode is intelligently written and delivered, with crime scenes usually suggestive or chilling effects off-screen, and simply loved the pair of investigators Max Ballauf and Freddy Schenk (detective partners brilliantly played by Klaus J. Behrendt and Dietmar Bär - one's kinda skinny, the other's kindly plump). If good old-fashioned mystery style is your cup of tea, try "Maigret" the French, pipe piping burly of an endearing Parisian Inspector, impeccably portrayed by Bruno Crémer, who solves murderous puzzles ever so facile. Great sets, costumes and befitting music as we accompany Maigret, unhurriedly sauntering on police business, visiting the rural provinces of French locales.
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