Star rating – 8/10
This second instalment of the film versions of the fabulous Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson is, like the second book, not quite so self contained as the first, but is no less gripping for that. It seems the fashionable thing to do at the moment is to find fault with these films, maybe as a counterpoint to the runaway success of the novels. I don’t understand why. For me they are great films, following on from even greater novels, which are as exciting, intriguing, and gripping as anything I have read for years.
Noomi Rapace mesmerises again as Lisbeth Salander – strong; bloody minded; fearless; sexy; secretive; and an IT genius. Perhaps the one thing that doesn’t come out enough in the film is this side of her character. The film doesn’t really attempt to portray how she uses her expertise as a solver of impossible algebraic formulae to get to the bottom of the track she is doggedly following.
This film is different from the first in that she and her former lover and sometime friend (or at least he tries to be and she constantly resists) Mikael Blomkvist, played by Michael Nyqvist, don’t actually meet until the closing piece of the action. It is also about much more this time than a simple family tragedy, with Soviet secret agents, monsters who can feel no pain, and hairy motor bikers also thrown into the mix. I won’t attempt to explain the action – to do so would only spoil the fun. But the story is thrilling, gripping and moving. But why do we have to wait until November for the final instalment in this fantastic trilogy? I can’t believe that the Hollywood versions that are currently in production will be any better than these superb originals.