When a young journalist working for Mikael's publication Millennium is killed just as he is about to uncover a huge people trafficking network, Lisbeth finds herself in the frame for murder and she and Mikael must use all their talents to clear her name and solve the case.
Find out what we thought of the film after the jump... The Girl Who Played With Fire (15)
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nygvist, Lena Endre
Director: Daniel Alfredson
Running time: 129 minutes
Trailer: Watch it here
What's it about? Hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nygvist) are back on the big screen in this follow-up to the roundly praised Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. When a young journalist working for Mikael's publication Millennium is killed just as he is about to uncover a huge people trafficking network, Lisbeth finds herself in the frame for murder and she and Mikael must use all their talents to clear her name and solve the case.
What's good about it? The series has 'done a Bourne' by replacing original director Niels Arden Oplev with new director Daniel Alfredson who will also film the third in the series but, unlike Bourne, Alfredson has not changed the style of the film and makes this chapter feel very much a continuation of 'Tattoo'. This time around Lisbeth and Mikael share very few scenes together, their stories intertwine but rarely cross paths, and this actually gives the character's more room to shine. Noomi Rapace in particular builds on her sterling work in the first film and gives weight and depth to Lisbeth, showing why she is the character every young actress wants to play for the upcoming American remake. Brilliantly displaying an emotional vulnerability tempered with a kick ass exterior. The plot is as dark as the first one, constantly scratching below the surface of the beautiful Swedish scenery to find a pitch black world of sex, murder and abuse.
What's not so good? In what is in many ways a procedural crime thriller, once again the bad guys feel out of place in an otherwise real world. The blonde giant who can feel no pain in particular belongs more in a Bond film than here. The ending is surprisingly abrupt and, as all films must at some point, some key plot points rely on the frustrating stupidity of the characters, more than once you'll be wondering to yourself why someone didn't just, you know, call the police rather than go into the spooky barn/apartment building.
Verdict: Another excellently made and unflinching look into an unremittingly dark world. As with 'Tattoo', some viewers will find the often sexual violence uncomfortable but if you can stick with it, this is a surprisingly warm and touching film with a central relationship as complicated and real as anything you're likely to see in a cinema this year.