A different director for the second film in ‘The Millennium Trilogy’, but a similar visual style and a welcome return of the two characters and actors of Mikael Blomkvist by Michael Nyqvist and the great Lisbeth Salander by the compelling Noomi Rapace.
The film overlooks the prologue section of the novel and makes a couple of character interaction changes but otherwise ticks virtually every box as far as plot development goes.
That sentence may sound reassuring, but it highlights all the main problems with the film. The prologue section of the novel provides the basis for the future developments in the story but is sadly omitted. Also, the key relationship between Salander and Blomkvist is completely turned on its head in a way which renders their decisions and relationship for the rest of the film completely inexplicable. Finally, the ticking all the boxes of the plot aspect feels just like that – no dynamic in the pacing of the story, no building of tension, no space for the actors.
There’s a more Bond-esque feel to the film as there was with the novel, but the nature of the medium means that you are unable to fill in the cracks as much, so it’s quite far-fetched looking at times. Perhaps it was intended to be broader – slightly more tongue-in-cheek and it less violent than the previous film to appeal to a larger market, at least in their native Sweden.
Salander is still the best thing about the film and Rapace still gives a great if rushed performance onscreen, but other than readers of the novel keen to see the book realised on the big screen it is hard to imagine anyone taking a real interest in this.
2 on 5
Directed by: Daniel Alfredson
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist
UK Release: 27th August 2010